Hello, "Yet."

March 12, 2009 by Jen

I love words. Most words. Not all words. In fact, there are some words that really stick in my teeth like corn on the cob and just don’t want to come out.

Like “yet.”
I’m a perfectionist. I’m okay with that. In fact, a lot of times, I really have respect for my perfectionism. (See All or Nothing for more on that.) Two responses are a lot easier to keep track of. 
But it’s not all that healthy, especially when stuff in life comes with more than two possibilities. 
Take a few days ago. I got another rejection letter – three just last week, to be precise, bringing my total number of acceptances into a PhD program to – you guessed it – zero.  In my tongue-in-cheek-but-not-really response on this blog, I wrote “Jen is not PhD-program caliber.” And then I paused.
Am I really not? As in ever? Boy, that’s depressing.
Well obviously I’m not, because they rejected me.
Um, I think there’s a flaw in the logic here somewhere.
Absurd.
No, really. 
Don’t be silly.
No, really.
Tired of arguing with myself, which is just a little weird, I capitulated and typed “at this point,” because “at this point” leaves more room for self-pity than “yet.” Not quite sure why, but it does; trust me.
“Yet” is inherently optimistic. Maybe because it sounds a little like “yes.” It also implies that the statement that is not presently true will/can someday be true. It’s like a revolving door that pushes you forward, rather than an automatic door in a power outage that tries to compress your nose back into the rest of your face.
Now that I think about it, I would really rather get a shove from behind than have my face inadvertently turned into a Willow Tree figurine.
*Gets out toothpick, begins to eek out a few more ‘yet’s for later use.*
*Realizes the image is kind of gross. Guilty grin. Trashes toothpick.*
Right now, Jen – who is not yet PhD-candidate material – is going to set up a stakeout by the mailboxes so she is ready to receive the last admissions status letter, which has not yet come.
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