epiphanies

“Second, development may be compressed into brief epiphanic moments. Since the signficant changes are internal, flashes of recognition often replace the continuous unfolding of an action.” (The Voyage In)

My mom came to Chapel Hill last week and we had lunch together at one of my favorite lunch spots on Franklin, Mediterranean Deli. While we were walking there, she asked me how things are going-the usual-and I told her I had a test next week. “Oh. On what?” The Enlightenment and Romantic Spain. “I can’t believe you spend your time studying that stuff,” she said, not quite in a snarky way, just sort of stunned.

{In general, I’d say people are pretty confused about what I study. Some think I’m learning Spanish language, like grammar and conversation (nope). Some people think the only thing you can do with an MA is teach high school Spanish (nope). I actually study books, which includes novels, poetry, essays, etc. and the time periods in which they were written and try to understand why or what they tell us. Blah blah.}

Anyway, our conversation continued into lunch and we continued to blab about some of my final projects, which all happen to star women, which means I read a lot of things about women, which led me to the quote at the beginning of this post and the topic of epiphanies. (In short, in women’s novels, frequently women experience epiphanies which lead to growth, while in men’s stories of development, the growth is gradual and ties into their growth of physical strength…or something like that).

All that to say, as I was reading The Voyage In, I realized my own self-narrative very much centers on epiphanies. It is no surprise when I make last minute or spur of the moment life-changing decisions. Growth and change seems to happen instantaneously in my brain, usually followed by a period of me ruminating and trying to figure out what it’s all about. Recent epiphanies include that idea to start a B&B, or the job I applied for on a whim, or my vision of five-years down the line when friends start having babies and “Oh! I’ll want to be there.” Things never go back to where they were after these moments; invariably, they seem to snap me out of an old way of thought and into a new one. Epiphanies can also make me impulsive and/or inconsistent, which is a quality I’m perhaps not so proud of, but hey, good with the bad, right?

Maybe some of you feel like you experience epiphanies, too?

(Sometimes, in the process of these moments, you get to reunite with old buddies, too! A joy.)

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