Today is June 28, 2014. I can’t believe it.
It’s funny how, when you’re anticipating something, the build up to it can be so momentous that the actual event itself feels like an anticlimax—not because the event isn’t a big deal, but because you’re no longer anticipating it. It’s here. It’s now. It’s happening. And it’s completely surreal.
If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, no, it’s not the Colombia/Uruguay World Cup match. It’s the 100th anniversary of the day that Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip shot the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, setting in motion the July Crisis of 1914.
And leading to a declaration of war on July 28, 1914.
If I were not obsessed with the First World War, this would be a day of mild interest for me. I’d probably read some Wikipedia articles to brush up on the details of the events. I might mention it to my family or friends, in passing, or at dinner. “Fun fact: Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated 100 years ago today.”
For you guys reading this, that’s probably how it works for you.
For me…I’m not sure what’s going on? I’m not sure what to do. I feel like I ought to do something, but unlike some other WWI-related dates that will come up in the next four years, there aren’t any appropriate commemoratory activities that leap to mind. But there is this distinct sense of (how to explain this?) inexorable forward motion.
It’s exciting. It’s intense. It’s a little anxiety-inducing. I feel like I’ve jumped aboard a moving train and I should be paying attention to every moment of the ride, only I can’t, because I’m supposed to be living my life at the same time, but everything that’s happening is only happening now, and the 100th anniversary of these events will never come again.
But then again, neither will any other moment in life.
Anyhow, I haven’t worked out what to do today. But I’ll do something. In the meantime, I leave you with this epic silliness that had me laughing until I cried:
Oh, and I nearly forgot—chatting with a friend yesterday reminded me that I never updated you all on the outcome of my last post, which I realize was rather a cliffhanger! Significant events that have happened since then:
- I got a job! (Specifically, the job I mention not getting in that previous post…it’s a long story, but yeah, I managed to get it and to get it on my terms, so that’s a thing that happened.)
- I, somewhat unexpectedly, won a scholarship that would cover about 1/6 the cost of attending the postgrad program(me) in the UK.
- Even with both of those things, I was highly reluctant to acquire more debt in order to attend this school.
- There is still a very, very slight chance things could work out so I can attend this year, but it is very very slight.
- The university confirmed that it would allow me to keep my offer and simply defer attending for a year (meaning that I don’t have to reapply if I wish to attend during the 2015-2016 school year).
- Since I couldn’t definitively commit to attending this year, I turned down the scholarship so that someone else could have it.
- I’m going to apply for every scholarship under the sun this fall so that I can be sure I’ll be able to do this grad school thing next year.
- Now that I have a job, I have the means to travel to the UK and do WWI-related stuff in a nonacademic context, so I’ve been tentatively planning a trip for myself this fall. The logistics of where I go and how long I stay are of course depending on money and on how much time I can take off from work (autumn is a busy time of year for us), but it’s a thrilling/nervous-making thing to contemplate.
So surprisingly, all in all, things are good. Grad school is still on the table, and traveling to the UK to do WWI (and possibly novel-research stuff) is now on the table, and I got the job without having to commit to any particular length of time. I still wish I could say for sure what I’m going to be doing six months from now, but I feel so much better and so much less stuck than I did when I wrote that angsty post last month.
And to all of you who wrote to me with encouraging/sympathetic/supportive messages after I posted it, thank you.❤ It really does mean a lot to know you all care.