Kanye believes that it’s good “Gettin’ Out Our Dreams.” I agree. As a dreamer on the cusp of entering the real world, I have big wishes and equally big hopes for the future. I can tell you in more-or-less accurate detail what I would like the next few of years of MissDre’s life to look like.
Post-Pioneer Valley I hope to move to New York City and live a romantically Bohemian lifestyle, day timing at a museum* and night timing as a barista, waitress, of bartender.** A post-college, entry-level position at a museum makes sense because, in the very distant future, I want to be a curator. Specifically, I want to work with costumes and jewelry of the past—I’m thinking Marie Antoinette’s diamond-dusted ball gowns or the 6-inch long golden earrings of Korea’s Silla Dynasty.
After I get New York City “out of my system,” and I’ve gained a breadth and depth of knowledge working behind the scenes at a museum, I hope to enroll in a graduate program where I can study Anthropology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Museum Studies. All at the same time (I hope one exists). THEN, after I become a DOCTOR, a medley of prestigious museums will recruit me to curate their vast collection of cultural artifacts, and it’ll pretty much depend on whether I want to live in Paris, New York, London, Seoul, or Los Angeles. Oh, and sometime during this period I’ll find a perfect, beautiful lifetime mate who I will start the Park-Blank family with. Dope.
I have the vision and I have the drive, but I do not have the direction. As the daughter of a long line of physicians who only understand the necessary steps to end up “successful” in the medical arena, my parents have little advice to spare (they do, however, compensate in anxious nagging: “ANDREA, what are you doing?!?”). In a moment of anxiety-induced panic, I decided to peruse the Amherst alumni network to ask Amherst grads who work in museums for tips, life-stories, encouragement, etc. etc.
While these alums’ insights were helpful, and I am ever so appreciative that they were willing to dole out words of wisdom to a stranger, I found that my rose-gold hued dreams were swiftly crumbling before my feet. First things first, museums jobs do not offer hefty salaries, so Sunday brunches flowing with champagne and shoe shopping in SoHo are a definite no-go.
Second, museum jobs are few and far between, incredibly competitive, and almost impossible to land without at least a Masters degree. Even with all the academic credentials in the world, I’ll have to rely on connections and the divine serendipity of an open position to actually become a curator. If I want to work in a museum in the coming year, I’ll most likely have the title of “intern” or, more realistically, “gift shop check-out girl.”
Suddenly this isn’t so hilarious…
Finally, there is no formulaic path to finding a home (and job) within the beautiful, culturally and historically enriched walls of a natural history museum. Many of these alums bopped around cities, jobs, and schools and somehow, magically, found themselves in their current professional position.
Such uncertainty is terrifying, and I wish more than anything that there was an x, y, and z that I could do to guarantee the fruition of my aspirations. What’s scarier, and more than a little bit heartbreaking, is having such a lovely dream but knowing that there is a good chance that it will never come true. What, then, is the value in having such lofty goals? Who was the idiotic a-hole who told us to dream big, shoot for the stars, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit? I’m glad that I talked to these alums because it was healthy and much-needed reality check. But I worry that the realness is leaving me more jaded than determined to keep on “Gettin’ Out Our Dreams.”
Not to fear, readers, I am not going to end on such a defeatist note because at the end of the day I am a lover, dreamer, and optimist. I leave you with a very wise quote by Moomin the troll that is tattooed on the delicate back of BunniesAreNom: “All things are so very uncertain, and that’s exactly what makes me feel reassured.” I hope that I eventually find true reassurance in such immense uncertainty, and I wish the same for you too ☺.
*The American Museum of Natural History
**Obvi. I’ll find a way to lead the sexy, fashionable lifestyle of journalist Carrie Bradshaw despite my pittance of a salary. I just won’t be as effing annoying about it.