One of my favorite Ballet instructors here in NYC always tells us, students, that “you never know when will be the day you turn three pirouettes in class!” This is because Ballet is focused on controlling the body so that it fights gravity, so that it looks like it is floating: the arms never out of place, the neck always appearing long, the hours of work put into the body. But then, there are moments in class were we do center work, and we get to turn. Turns happen so fast that we are not always in control of the movement. This is bad at times, because we may crash-land from a turn, but it also means that pirouettes in Ballet open the way for luck. One might get to class one day, sore from rehearsals and in a bad mood because work is a nightmare. But then you stretch, work a good bar, and when it is time to turn, unexpectedly nail three pirouettes. There is always that one day were we dancers can get lucky with our turns, and you never know when that day might come.
I don’t know why, but I am still looking for my three pirouettes with my graduate studies in Philosophy. I am repeating to myself, “Keep writing, keep going to class, keep reading, keep looking for ideas, don’t give up Carolina.” Because just like with my pirouettes, I never know when will be the day I will get a grandiose idea. Sadly, it’s been a long time since my last good thesis, or my last presentable paper was written and my patience, my perseverance, is starting to disappear. I cannot blame this on anybody or on anything anymore, and sometimes I wonder if I just chose this discipline to prove something to somebody else. Maybe I am writing this because I have spent way too many hours drafting a paper I am not happy with, and because I have been drafting unimportant, uninteresting papers for the past year. And because all this time I spent drafting an unimportant paper, my mind kept drifting towards the contingent: Trivialities about my job as a teacher, about report cards I have to finish, about my unemployed dad, about money, about not being funded, about how things would feel like if I were funded, about how the last thing I would want to do right now is to be in a funded PhD program anyways, about the math teacher, about being cold, about my friends, about the Brooklyn Bridge in winter, about longing.
Who knows, maybe I am having philosophers-block. I don’t know yet, I am still waiting for my three pirouettes to happen in the realm of my ideas. I am not a quitter. So I keep reading, keep looking, keep asking myself if this is even worth it after all, because one never knows when that day will come, the day of luck, the day of the three pirouettes.