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Language Log

Friday, Dec. 19, 2008 - 6:36 a.m.

I've been going to bed early and waking up early. I haven't done anything to prepare for Christmas, but we leave for Florida on Monday. I'll only be gone for a week, and then I get to come home. I find this delightful.

My Swahili conversation pal and I met for the last time yesterday-- well, I'll see her again when she comes back in April and September to look after her house here in town, but the weekly meetings are over. What will I do? We have vowed weekly Swahili email exchanges. That'll be nice, but not the same.

I did meet with my other friend, too. Yesterday was a day of much cocoa-sipping. She hated teaching, and got a job editing a journal, which she hoped might be her salvation from teaching. But she hates editing too. I feel bad, and kept having the urge to give advice. I try not to give advice, but I always want to. As if I know anything. I managed to resist in this case.

I guess I'm a great believer now in changing what you're doing if you don't like it. I was lucky because I had more oppportunity than most. Some people really don't have choices; others, like my friend, probably have a lot more than they think they do. As long as you're young, healthy, and with no kids, you have a hell of a lot of choices if you're willing to be creative and a bit brave. I hate to see people box themselves into an unhappy place until someday, all their choices really are gone.

There, you see? Aren't I fucking wise? Don't worry, I didn't say any of that to her.

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