My dissertation is like a long-term relationship, and right about now I would love to have a fling with a term paper.
My dissertation, I love you, I think you are the most worthwhile idea I have tried to pursue, but you frustrate me. Why are we having this argument again? I thought last month we had settled that issue. But here it is coming up again today.
You are a deep and worthwhile love, but you are no longer that exciting. Sure, there are moments when I see the spark again, but I am tired of the same old arguments and issues being raised after I thought they were solved. I am coming to know you slowly and more deeply, but knowing you in this way is more complex. There are things about you I cannot change and that do not neatly fit the argument I design. Knowing you in this way is harder, and slower, and requires more acceptance not only of you as you are and as you remain intractable but also accepting myself and my own limitations.
To the term paper I long to woo, you are so exciting and new. Sure I realize that there will be nothing lasting or really meaningful about our relationship. But you are so exciting. Even the fact that I won’t really know you is exciting. I get to spend a few weeks or months with you, and I will begin to think I know you well, and knowing you thrills me. I feel like I am accomplishing something when I make you smile or blush into the argument I outlined for you.
It is true I don’t really know you, but only the you that fits what I am trying to say. This I think is part of your attractiveness, you will reflect better on me than the dissertation that I have to please despite the incongruities in argumentation. I don’t really know you, though I think I do, and this illusion points not to my limitations but to the possibilities.