Friday, October 02, 2009

464. The Trauma of Two Days Ago ::: Valuation of My Soul Based on the Dollar Bill (Poem)

Unexpectedness disrupts my train of thought. I cry and write a poem and tell all my friends... and heal... and move on....

I had a superb interview for Roadtrip Nation a couple of days ago, but a few off-camera comments had subliminally sunk into the very depths of my psyche and even froze me up into a "funk." I then came to realize the comment that was bothering me to the nth degree, that was freezing me and destroying me. An academic stated how it was amazing how I could go through so much work and effort in my pursuits with Roadtrip Nation just to receive such a small grant. And that just pinched me... then pounded me.... POUNDED ME. There are very few programs I can commit to. There are very few programs that allow me to be an individual and CELEBRATE MY INDIVIDUALITY. There are few programs that allow me to FILL UP MY SOUL even if it involves a little bit of monetary debt! AND ROADTRIP NATION, IT IS! Do I want to go to my grave in debt in money or in debt in my soul? Best have neither, but my soul comes first in priorities. I already "died" when I was 17, so... yep... my soul is all I have left anyway. And a distinguished professor of all things challenged me to that notion.

That hurt very... very bad. If I waited for money to come my way... nothing will ever happen. I swear I am going to start catching lobster and save my soul; if this is the predominant mentality of the university, I can't deal with that anymore.

I can't be measured by a dollar bill. My work can't be measured by a dollar bill--while in process. If it is, I will never get anywhere in life and will be likely go to a "real" mental institute (though the university most certainly is a mental institute). I don't think I can deal with this academic world anymore. Some of them are going corporate in their heads as well! If he sees my efforts based on the dollar, then we are philosophically, intuitively, spiritually, and financially, maybe even rationally incompatible. No deal.

I have to recalibrate and remind myself of the professors and academics who really encourage and support me. My advisor Oran, my poetry-writer-pal Barry, my grad student buddy Julie, my undergrad inspirational fish biologist hearthrob thee-one-and-only-Milton, the list goes on. I have so much positive support who see me based on the merit of my ideas, rather than my efforts in dollars. Maybe I'm thrown off because I expected something very different from the academic I spoke to. Because of my expectations and perceptions of him were so different than the reality.

Just a few comments can throw a hurricane at me and shake up my entire neurological tree. My mind disintegrates when you wrap it up in dollar bills. So... I will wipe my xss with them instead.

I wrote an email to my friend, "But before then, I had a devastating conversation with an academic yesterday, in which he straight-up-in-the-face assigned my identity and pursuits and efforts according to the dollar bill, and I was punched with barbaric capitalism once again (did you know it costs one cent to breathe and one cent to have a creative thought pop into your head?) by someone I thought I wanted on my committee (uh... never mind!), and then I cried and called my dad and wrote a short and silly little poem that I wanted to share with you."

I am not going to be
measured by a dollar bill.
I will be measured
by my growing soul.
And oh I know I have
a pretty soul.
Oh I know, cuz
you told me so.
Oh I know, cuz
you made it so.

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