I mean - could the struggle to become a genuine, dyed-in-the-wool bluestocking scholar really have been any harder than struggling to convince the world that librarianship is more than stamping (or cataloguing) books; convincing oneself that marriage is more than keeping your other half clean, tidy and well-fed; or convincing your kids that your irritating little foibles actually stem from wanting them to grow up well-balanced, reasonable human beings?
Let's take stock.
- Scholarship. Would have been easier in my twenties. I got there in the end, and have some fetching stripey blue (and grey) tights (not stockings) lined up for the winter. But I'm 52, trying to make my CV look as though I've been effortlessly doing this scholarly thing all along. And it's hard work catching up on the lost two and a half decades.
- Marriage. It is actually not possible to convince another human being to put things away. Anywhere. Ever. (Or if it is, it must be someone else's other half, not mine.)
- Kids. Idealism is futile. Forget the grand aspirations. I want to raise three young human beings capable of being congenial, hygienic flat-sharers. That's all.
And for all my philosophising, my friends, I became a Doctor of Philosophy. Which entitles me to philosophise legally, anywhere I please. So there! One ambition fulfilled.