There are so many wistful things I can’t quite catch.

There are so many wistful things I can’t quite catch.

Surely, someone, maybe even I, lived out these dreams at some point in time, somewhere.

Are these just fanciful delusions, nostalgia for what never was and never will be?

Is this someone else’s world, and I am living out my life as their supporting cast member this time around?

Who wouldn’t want to have the extremely good life, living in New York City as a young person without any significant financial worries? Or, perhaps even living an extremely adequate life there as an older person?

Why shouldn’t I want to have a life where things are taken care of for me? Perhaps I am an academic sort who lives slightly above the poverty line, but lives in a nice neighborhood near a nice campus, with the housing heavily subsidized but the salary sufficient to survive and put a little money away? Perhaps there are grants and endowments for me to travel periodically as part of the role I have. It is a different mindset than the one my parents possessed–where you have to have a 1-1 connection between the work you do, the money you take in, and the things you enjoy (or can’t). Living the life of someone who receives funding from donors and relies on schmoozing to attract more dollars for travel and projects like books and research–it isn’t necessarily in my family’s DNA, and so it feels uncomfortable and odd when I find myself benefiting from largess rather than simply a paycheck for time on the clock.

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