Academia will not love you back, one is told, but it does give some people a lot of love. Their writing is liked and rewarded, people admire them, they get raises and sabbaticals, their lectures draw large audiences, they have interesting fellowships and good dissertation students. I would like to experience love like that although people do keep saying one should eschew it.
“Work will not love you back.” Is that even the point? My work is my creation, it is not supposed to love me. Or it does love me. And I will reiterate, workplaces do love some people, and the very people who exhort us that work will not love us back probably get a lot of love from work themselves.
I had a series of dreams, though, where I designed a love relationship, in the context of a work project. That is to say: in waking life I am designing a work project, that I have put some thought into. I began having vivid dreams about someone I would meet in the process of carrying the project out, and about what the relationship would be like. I went to a seer to find out what she might say, what were the energies coming to me.
She said it was all about work, and that I was redesigning my relationship to work. So let’s describe the love relationship, so as to meditate upon how work would be if it really were like love–which in my interpretations and readings, it always seems to be.
In this relationship I: 1/ did not doubt the person’s support or my own interest, there were no limits in this way, and paradoxically, putting them and the relationship first did not detract from work or independence but added to these; 2/ felt I could say anything at all; 3/ felt entirely safe, not endangered at all; 4/ did not feel as if owned or owing, or owed in exchange for self-mutilation (an idea of love I got from my mother); 5/ felt like an individual, autonomous, my decisions were mine and I was sure of them, even if they were not the best decisions or the only possible good ones.
There were a few more aspects to these dreams, that I had over a couple of weeks, and that were exhilarating. I’ve lost contact with them and need to remember all of their aspects better than I do, but the general sense was that commitment and risk meant more, and not less freedom and safety. I was always taught the opposite: commitment was slavery and debt, and risk led to certain death. And I wanted freedom. And in the dreams freedom came with commitment and risk, the way it does for the revolutionaries I have always admired.
So all of this, the seer says, I am to apply to work. I wonder how and if I can. Maybe it will attract love–the love you are not to expect from work, but that I see people getting, and that I want too.