I often like to ask people (typically at parties, after I've had a few to drink) what kind of superpower they would choose to have if they could have just one. Swirling their swizzle sticks, my conversational partners will tilt their heads to the side, gazing at the ice cubes motoring around in their cocktails.
Superpower?, they'll ask.
Yeah, I know, I'll respond, I live in a fucking fantasy world. Humor me.
And then they'll say dumb shit like breaking stone with your fist or producing infinite quantities of spiced rum. I fucking hate when people don't take my fantasy questions seriously.
I, personally, imagine a life in which I am capable of instant transportation. Oh? Want to travel to Paris for the weekend? Non problem! Need to run into lab at 7am on a Saturday morning to check on your experiment? You're there- and then- oh!- you're back. No more commutes, no more traffic, no more car requirements, no more airfare... and hell, you could take a vacation where every day you went to a different part of the world, and every night you could sleep in your own bed. Sweet.
I've long been convinced that this would be the very best superpower to have.
Today, though, I was talking to a graduate student who had just finished his final exams, flustered about his performance. I always hated, as a graduate student, when people told me that my grades didn't matter, as long as I passed. Of course they mattered, sweet Jesus, how else were people going to judge the goodness within the essence within the academic?
I was such a tortured soul.
Now I'm thinking that maybe a better superpower would be the ability to receive memos from my future self regarding the shit that doesn't matter.
Date: 8 years later
Re: Your compulsive anxiety over graduate coursework
Your final grade doesn't fucking matter. No one will ever care whether you got an A- or a B- in Genetics as a graduate student. (Except for maybe those L'Oreal Fellowship bullshitters, and who cares about them, anyway). Stop all of the bad dreams, stop waking up the morning of exams, doubled over with nerve-induced diarrhea. Stop the madness!! It doesn't matter!!! It will never matter!!!11!!!
Now, this is probably all more important to me because of my anxiety- but I would just love love love if, in the present moment, when someone tells me to stop freaking out about something because it will not matter, that I could just listen. That I could just accept the wisdom wafting over me, that I could just inhale the good air filling my lungs, and just chill the fuck out.
So why don't you tell me what you would wish for. Grab a cocktail first, classy reader, and swirl away.