Looking Toward the Future…

matthew-6-33-christian-iphone-wallpaper-lockscreen-background-variation-1I am continuing to work on my Doctor of Arts and Letters degree. I am registered for two classes in the Spring: one is in concentration of Studies in Spirituality; the other is a writing practicum that focuses on the power of the written word to heal. I’m starting to see a trend.

I’ve put so much pressure on myself to figure out what my future should be. I’ve spent over a nearly two decades studying music and jazz history. All the while, my creative burst of energy has be confined to academic writing.

I tried to be brave by pouring my passion and effort into studying the American Renaissance (Alcott and Emerson mostly), but I retreated. I love Louisa May Alcott, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne. But will an academic institution take me seriously as a scholar if I seemed to have a mid-life crisis and changed direction?

The course on Spirituality this semester is an examination of finding God in the works of Tolkien. How cool is that?

I always imagined myself to be an English professor — teaching works like Beowulf. Am I to look toward the future with an eye on teaching spirituality in literature? The role of God and faith in the works of Alcott? I don’t know. It’s such a fight.

I feel like this program is either going to make or break me. My dissertation is either going to land me a full-time gig or not. I was leaning towards presenting myself as an Americanist. I can engage in scholarly endeavors and discourse within the framework of American culture — that includes music, literature, and art. All things with which I am enamored. I can discuss 19th and 20th centuries’ cultural history. Music of the slave period, Alcott’s engagement with slavery, Hawthorne’s apprehension about abolition.

I put so much pressure on myself to figure things out NOW. I should trust God and let things unfold. He will guide me.

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