I want to bake bread. I want to graduate with a Masters degree and get a job for which I am overqualified, working in a bakery in some hippie-infested city like Portland (either one) or Seattle. I want my customers to be tattooed, my fellow employees to be pierced vegans who smoke cigarettes on their breaks in the back alley next to brick walls. I want to knead spelt and sunflower seeds into yeasty breads, let them rise and bake them until they are browned and beautiful.
I want to serve coffee with my bread. I want to bartend, and make ridiculous tips off of drunk people who tell me they like my eyes. Or hair. You know, the classy ones. I want a car with the cupholder armrests. I want a car, man.
I need a break, I think. After this program. I need a few solid years of living before I re-enter the wilderness of academia, before I plunge myself right back in to writing papers and publishing in journals and conferences. A break where I make bread at work, instead of edit papers (my own and my students'). A break where I make bread at home, instead of edit papers (my own and my students'). (I'll be honest, I still make bread at home....)
I am tired. And I want to make something that more people will experience and enjoy than the three COUNT 'EM THREE people who read my papers I write for graduate courses. Bread feeds people. What constructive thing does deconstruction do? This is my conundrum, my existential crisis, my struggle with post-modernity. I want to make something with my hands, something more substantial than that which comes from this ticking of the keys on my laptop.
So this is my five year plan. Graduate. Wear the funny gown with the long sleeves. Yes, I am going to this ceremony. Work. Save money for travel. Write--on my own. Study--on my own. Travel. Make it back to Europe by 2015. This is the only part that makes this a five year plan. Learn to sew. Make cheese. Sound sketchy? I'll figure it out.
There may only be one of me, but I have a plan.