Happy Birthday Sylvia Plath

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If you follow my blog you’ll know that I am completely and utterly in love with Sylvia Plath. I’m writing my dissertation about her and there’s just something about her work that has a deep connection with me. Today would have been Sylvia’s birthday, unfortunately she took her own life at the age of 30 and has gone on to become one of the world’s best known authors. Happy Birthday Sylvia, thank you for such beautiful work.

So much working, reading, thinking, living to do! A lifetime is not long enough.

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Time to start my Dissertation!

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The moment has finally arrived, I’m starting my dissertation and like the true geek I am I couldn’t be more excited! A lot of people are interested but confused about why I’m going to look at Sylvia Plath and why I like reading her work so much. Sylvia’s work is not sunshine and flowers, yes it is dark but there is also such a poignant beauty to it.

Now I’m not one of those people who thinks that we should glamourise Sylvia and her struggles with mental health, it’s not something she romanticises. I think it’s one of the reasons that I fell in love with her novel The Bell Jar I could understand how the character of Esther felt, how by extension Sylvia felt (the novel is heavily autobiographical) because it is incredibly honest and truthful. If you didn’t know, unfortunately Sylvia took her life at the age of 30.

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I think there’s just a lot I can relate to in Plath’s writing, like the quote above. There’s a lot of confusion in her work and just trying to work out who you are and how you fit in the world. Which leads me on to what I’m going to be studying (assuming it gets approved). I want to look at female identity in the works of Sylvia Plath, specifically the role of the ‘traditional’ female. I just feel like when I’m reading her work there’s this huge anxiety with who she should be and how she should act as a woman and it’s something I relate to, so that’s what I’m going to write 10,000 words on. Simple, right?

I’m really excited to get started, research and kind of start what might be a career for me, the start of my academic life. Yes, I sound like a total nerd. Of course I am really nervous too, it’s big piece of writing and there’s a lot of independence to get used to but it’s going to be great sharing this journey with you!

Education is a gift like no other

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I don’t always know what to write about. This evening was like that, a blank screen in front of me and searching for some kind of inspiration. People have asked me today how I can blog every day, how I stay motivated. I don’t really know, I suppose it’s just something I’m really proud of and it’s fun for me. I’d love to make a career out of this, but it’s not the sole reason I write it.

I spent today at work with a bunch of great students. They’re only two to three years younger than me but we’re kind of mentoring them as they apply for university and help answer any of their questions. I sat in on two taster sessions today, one for Media and another for Criminology, two subjects I’d never encountered before. I watched the lecturers and heard their passion for the subject and it inspired me. I’ve been getting more and more passionate about becoming a lecturer lately. People give me a list of reason not to do it; it’s too expensive, you haven’t lived yet, can you earn enough from it, what do you have to teach. There’s this fierce passion in me and from simply watching the impact the lecturers had on young people it reminded me why I want to study until I’m 25.

There is nothing in my decision about being scared about going into the ‘real world’. I want the challenge, the stimulation, the creativity that being an academic in Literature brings. I can still do other things, I can write books, still do social media. It’s not something I see as preventing me from doing anything, instead I see it as opening more doors than ever. It’s true what they say, education is the best gift of all, no one can take it away from you.

I wanted to write this to remind myself when I’m having a tough time with my dissertation this year or when I feel like giving up later on. I want to remember this excitement and happiness at the thought of studying and exploring literature. I’m a geek and I’m proud.

Image from http://www.girlsgonesporty.com/articles/fitness/using-we-heart-it-to-maximize-fitness-inspiration/