In my grad class tonight, I had a little insight that applies across the board in all areas of my life and I'm only beginning to realize just how much it affects everything I do. Scary, really. I'm obsessed with authorship because, as I wrote in my diss, I grew up wanting more than anything to believe that I didn't need anybody, that with enough hard work I could do anything I wanted to do, including becoming a writer. This is, too, the reason I'm obsessed with social class and inequity: because the power operates in our culture such that hard work will never be enough, but we will continue to sell it as a bill of goods via education, especially. Being from the working class, I am very much wedded to the idea that I worked my way up to where I am now. And I did work hard, it's true. Very true. But all of this obsession with individual achievement is complemented by my obsession with how things, ideas, people, works, writings are legitimated. And, alas, in my personal life, too, I am fond (to put it mildly) of the idea that I need nobody, that I am indeed a person with no needs. To need is to be vulnerable, to be a prime target for rejection, to be dependent. I recently actually said, out loud, that there was a time recently--for three or four days--when I didn't like myself because I wanted him to call. I didn't like myself because I wanted something.
And, as I told my grad students tonight, I'm beginning to actually say out loud that hard work as an explanation for the job I got and the work I've published just doesn't tell the whole story. It's also because of who I know, who knows me, and who's legitimated me in this field. I didn't do this alone. And I'm certainly not going to be able to make it through this life alone, because, holy shit, I actually want more than this. I...need more than this.
Did I really just say that?