about two weeks ago
i got one of the greatest compliments of my life.
a former law professor, now criminology professor and former dean of the criminology department
who happens to be my supervisor for my directed individual study
asked me how my grades were,
and then told me that i should pursue an LLM (or master of law) at an Ivy league school after FSU and then become a law professor. he also told me that this idea came into his head, -while-, he was reading my paper on hannah arendt.
it was always kind of my dream to be a professor. all ive ever really wanted to do was research, most preferably in an academic setting. and i love teaching and talking about research, whosever it is.
so i was so happy i didnt even know what to say. i didnt want to confess that it was always my dream, so i just sort of said thank you. and…but LLM’s cost so much money. and he said maybe there are scholarships.
and this compliment is still ringing in my head. and for a second i thought that it was the best ive ever had. but i quickly realized, that this wasnt true. maybe it was the best career-related compliment ever.
and then i got sad that i didnt remember most of the other most valuable compliments ive been given. and that the most important ones had to do with my character or my work. not some innate talent, if i have any, or about my appearance. and i realized that compliments about beauty didnt figure on this scale of great compliments at all. they didnt even matter, at all.
and so i was sad, that i couldnt remember all the beautiful nice things that friends and family and lovers said to me over the years. and i realized also that this is why letters are so important. this is why letters that people have written me with special words over the years, i have kept for so long, i have held most dear. they are more precious than any other memento that i have ever saved, besides possibly my pictures and i couldnt compare the two…
im sure if i think more, i can remember more meaningful compliments, although my mind seems to draw a blank whenever i pose the question and then i feel a bit vain and silly whenever i try to draw deeper even though i know its a worthwhile venture. i also just dont have time now to be digging in my memory for memories, when im currently only trying to cram much more information in it.
but one compliment did spring to mind, somehow separated from all the others, and i think its because its the most meaningful, special one in recent memory…
while traveling in north carolina with ashish, i think we might of even been in atlanta, and im annoyed i cant remember exactly where we were, but i feel like it was sitting on his couch or in his bed… he told me that i was special and he could feel it at our job at the ACLU because i was very intelligent, and was apt to debate with people, and be confrontational about politics, but at the same time i was very loving and empathetic and compassionate… that he could tell i also really cared about people. and he said it was rare to find these two things in the same person. to be sort of harsh and brutal, but also sort of kind and caring. and i dont know if thats all true. but it meant alot to me. and i think now as i write this, that they are very intimately connected, they are both connected to the passion i feel for people, all people. those close to me, and everyone else living as well.
anyways, i just wanted to remember these compliments. these two. and try to pay attention to whatever nice words come from now on. because they are useful guideposts. into who you are. and who you want to be. and what you are striving towards. and what things actually matter to other people in your life…
Every Sunday, Tim and I venture to the #fleamarket #marchéauxpuces for super cheap, local #produce. I got so much healthy food for $14. Then we go to see if there are any teacup piglets for sale and someday I will buy one. #tallahassee #southside #shoplocal #cheapvegan
In the absence of love and belonging, there is always suffering.
-psychology researcher on NPR