So often work bleeds into personal life, sometimes in unusual ways. My work has been focusing on shifts in strategies in franchises. I am analyzing James Bond and the Showtime network. I seek those moments and reasons for those moments when strategies change. When looking at the past breaks (if ever so slightly) from the future. It is a tough argument to grapple with and even more difficult to explain clearly. Of course, I had better clear up those explanations for that thesis or it won’t be very successful. I am working on my thesis this weekend over our fall break. I find I rarely choose the easy route in academics and end up paying for it in restless nights and a few tears shed along the way. It also means that I’m first and could encourage others to follow in my path. I’m looking to publish soon, which scares me some. I’ll be presenting research at a conference in April; I’ve attended many conferences, but am terrified of presenting. So looking forward at work means braving new theoretical and analytical territories, as well as conquering fears. All that while searching for and applying to PhD programs while Roger seeks employment for after he becomes Dr. Skophammer.
Back to those moments. Facebook has provided a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with old friends from the past. Many, I haven’t seen for years. Some, I barely knew. And even others that have always remained close friends. Nostalgia seeps in and I think about the past in ways I’ve not allowed myself for a long while. I think about relationships that have failed, and those that have blossomed. Lost friendships and missed opportunities for friendships have resolved in renewed dialog and interest. I think about friendships that ended poorly and some that have just drifted away on their own. Looking back, there is no shift in me or my life that has precipitated all this change. Rather, gradual changes have made me the person I am now, and the one I continually become. I have found my renewed spirit for the outdoors that was lost since junior high. In working out for a healthier me, I have had to look at the influences both outside and inside that have caused me to become unhealthy. I could hang on to the past, work hard to keep up dying friendships or I can look forward to new relationships, new adventures. Those are hard decisions, and often unconscious at that.
So, possibly, the shift is happening right now. I am married to the love of my life, the man of my dreams, my practically perfect partner. I have a family that grows constantly, whether Schmids, Skophammers, Kidder/Kerners, Whitemans, Wittes, Keiths, Schriders, Mathews, Welchs, Pimms, Olsons, Giesers, Valentes, or anyone else who comes along in friendships of love and family. I am enjoying the outdoors. I have goals in my own academic future. I will be a doctor of philosophy. I have talents in writing and research that emerge almost every day. I am a grandma, with a second grandchild due any day. I am a sister and daughter in law. My sister is in a special relationship. I love and adore my parents. My sights are on happiness, hopefully the sadness of the past is gone. Life itself is practically perfect right now.
So back to my research. One thing about James Bond is that even with a strategic narrative shift, the history remains and helps to provide meaning for the current and future Bonds. In that regard, my own history shapes my meaning, now and in the future. Shifting is good. New perspectives are helpful, however, I can never escape my history. I must learn from it, hold on to those parts that are dear and positive and bravely move ahead in my future.
Whew! Long and introspective. I hope not too much, but if so, I’m not sorry at all.