chekhov and freedom.

I’ve never broken up with anyone, but I’ve ended a couple friendships, and I think that the feelings of freedom must be akin to each other.

In other news, however, there’s this quote from Chekhov’s The Seagull which became very precious to me today.

It’s important to clarify that I have not actually read The Seagull; but because Chekhov is to Madeleine L’Engle as Madeleine L’Engle is to me, I have encountered this particular line.

“When I think of my calling, I am not afraid of life.”

I found my calling today.

Which, to be fair, is a brash statement to make at the tender age of nineteen, but I think I am fairly justified. Let me make my case.

My calling is translation work.

Basically, it is my favorite part about languages, which are already a passion of mine. For instance, the idea that Aufzug, the German word for elevator, translates literally to “up train” just makes me so unbelievably happy. My best essay for German composition class last fall was when I wrote it in English first and then translated it. I love tenses and adjective conjugations and the particles I’ve recently encountered in Japanese and just GRAMMAR and do you see how very incoherently excited I am by all this?

AND it gets better.

I could translate business documents – hence, accounting degree. I could translate books – literary translator. I could translate ANYTHING I WANT. I could translate my favorite Madeleine L’Engle books into Swedish for the flying hell of it and see where that gets me.

It’s all so wonderful.

Derek and I have both been freaking out a little bit about fitting all our degrees and other ambitions into the lives that seemed so spacious and wide open and thrilling only a few years ago, but I am calming down about it, and I am so excited about the idea of translating as my life’s work. And my accounting degree will not be useless. Having an in-depth knowledge in a technical field will be excellent as a translator. And you bet I am going to read the hell out of the copy of the Swedish-English Business Dictionary which is in the Sjölunden library.

And also, I want “Dancin’ in the Stars” by Mannheim Steamroller played at my funeral.

 

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