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Language Log

Friday, Oct. 06, 2006 - 7:43 p.m.

I was telling J that I have just about finished deciding, and that I will not finish even my qualifying paper. I don't feel like it. I'd rather do other things, and get on with it already.

One thing I pointed out is how I have a tendency to fantasize myself into being another person-- for example, I would like to be a world traveler, I like travel, and I keep imagining that if I travel some more, I will become adaptable and adventuous and good at it. Other self-delusional fantasies I have had like this are: by the time I have finished my course work in anthropology, I will be able to talk to people well enough to do ethnography or fieldwork; that when I have taken enough TESOL classes, I will know how to teach English well, and like it; when I have mastered some topic in linguistics, I will like giving talks on it. None of these have panned out.

So, tonight I would like to remind myself to NOT do the same thing with art. I know that I actually do like art, and there aren't to my knowledge any hidden bits that I'm imagining I will grow into. However, this evening I went to an event at the gallery in town where my stuff is, and by the time I left, I realized that I had been harboring delusions that I had not been aware of. In my mind, what would happen was that i would go, I would see the owner, who I would talk with for a few minutes before she introduced me to someone as the artist who made that beautiful paper jewelry, and then I would chat with people about it. Or, someone woudl notice the piece I was wearing, ask me about it, I would explaint hat, yes, I am the artist, and then we woudl chat about it. I could practice fielding compliments. That sort of thing. Of course, in reality, what happened was that I went to this place where everyone knew each other or at least knew one or two people who they had come with, the gallery owner was nowhere to be seen, and no one noticed me at all. Or if they did, they watched me carefully to make sure I wasn't stealing anything, because I just sort of walked around and loitered in the vicinity of the jewelry for a while before wandering off. The only person I spoke to was the woman manning the bar, who gave me a glass of Coke.

It was really awkward.

I am not going to change, and I shouldn't try to take on anything that is predicated upon my doing so, somehow, magically. Luckily I don't think I HAVE to go to these sorts of events to make art work. It would be nice if I could, but...

Well, it's a thin line between thinking something is going to turn out well, which is what I thought I was doing at that opening, and harboring delusions. Best-case scenarios are usually delusions. I should try to remember that.

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