"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose..."

Loyal readers--(I am going to keep "readers" in the plural in the vain hope that someone other than me is reading this. If you're an employer, hi there! Keep reading and feast your eyes on my writing skills, critical thinking, and all the other things I've gathered with my very expensive degree from the greatest school in New Jersey: if you need more convincing that Princeton is, in fact, awesome, I turn you over to a legendary daughter of Princeton and fellow comparative literature major, Nikki "2k" Muller: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDhf9qwiA34.)

Yesterday, I returned from my third trip to Harvard Business School in the attempt to become a research associate for one of its book-writing, case-developing, and otherwise highly accomplished professors. I have met for three positions--the first two went to other people, and it'll be two weeks before I hear about the third. While I pray that third time's the charm, I'm not terribly optimistic. Someone as major as Bill Kirby in the world of China scholarship will probably have candidates whose abilities surpass my own in terms of business background, one of the specific requisites for the position, but he interviewed me anyway. A girl can dream, however--he has three really interesting project prospects on the horizon for next year, and I feel I'd be a great fit on them. Alas, I'm still terrified of sending the 'thank you' email, because I'm just afraid of its uselessness. At this point, I've spent so much time and energy traveling up to these interviews (and without reimbursement :-/) that the only reasons I will ever take another trip up to Boston out of my personal finances will be to work with him or to visit friends. 

In the meantime, an old friend is coming to visit for a few days (despite the fact that my dad will be an insufferable drama queen this weekend under the premise of the greeting card holiday of 'father's day'). It's incredible how some of the people who I meet in strained, brief periods of time end up remaining in my life. Others totally and sadly fade out, but the ones who stick around have been pretty good eggs. Anyway, we'll probably go to the beach and to New York City for the day--I've wanted to show my friend Princeton, but the place is too raw. The memories from reunions and graduation and the emotions associated with them are still stronger than I'd like. I'm planning to visit with another friend next week to see a 'A Little Night Music' by the Princeton Summer Theater troupe, but I don't doubt that I might tear up from being back in the place and soaking in the ghosts of last month once again. If I go to Infini-T and sing at the open mic night while I'm there, I would inevitably sing "Me and Bobby McGee," (maybe with my talented musician friend, Lucas?) from which the title of this post is derived. If you've never heard it, I put it in the category of the two Bob Dylan songs I like best, "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" and "Visions of Johanna." A story of a journey and the inevitability of its end. The final separation that induces a strange combination of feelings: pain, longing, nostalgia, numbness, and, ironically, relief.

One day up near Salinas, I let him slip away,
He's looking for that home and I hope he finds it,
But I'd trade all of my tomorrows for just one yesterday
To be holding Bobby's body next to mine.

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing, that's all that Bobby left me, yeah,
But feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
Hey, feeling good was good enough for me, hmm hmm,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

[You may or may not know, I have a literary fascination with song lyrics. I link songs intimately with parts of my life and have a decently meaningful playlist for every semester since my sophomore year at Princeton. This linkage of music with life will probably continue throughout the blog--bear with me. I have a profound love of 20th century stuff, especially jazzy, soulful stuff with heroic belters. I cannot think of a more appropriate woman to have gotten an honorary degree from Princeton on my graduation day that the Queen herself, Aretha Franklin. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.]

I feel like my mission of soul-searching has been partially diverted by the numerous doctor appointments, my brief stint of illness, and the stress of my interviews up in Boston. But as Kristofferson and Joplin say, "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." I have nothing left to hold me back, and I need to dive headfirst into the endeavor and also stop being afraid of writing cover letters for fear of more failure. I have some really supportive people who have been helping me in this process of finding out what I want to do and who I want to be, but the next step I need to take is on my own.

In the words of another of my favorite songs, "Feelin' Good," (I endorse both the Michael Buble and Nina Simone covers) "It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me. And I'm feelin' good."

Here's to starting over. Again.