Should I or should I not apply to a Ph.D. program? And if I am to apply, which program should I apply to? Philosophy? Again? But I am tired of it. I am tired of the way that it is done here. Literature? Again? But it isn't what I want. I don't want to make criticism of what other creative geniuses wrote. I can do that as a hobby. I don't want it to be my life's work. Romance Languages? No way. Intellectual History? Perhaps this is the best option, but still. It is academia. Five more years of my life limiting my research, my interests, obsessing about grades. Learning the traditional way of doing things. And then what? And then I'll be like everyone else who has a Ph.D. Isolated in my office, hunching over books other people wrote, grading papers, trying to inspire students, getting one or two of them to gain depth every semester, while the others get further and further from authenticity and give in more and more to what others want from them. Academia is one more instrument of mass production. It cuts out the edges by small meaningless prohibitions, and in the end we have these perfect shapes with no character. But what then do I want? I want a simple life. I want a minimum amount of money to pay my bills and eat well. Maybe travel once or twice a year. I want free time to do what I really want to do, not what others expect of me. I want my music to be heard, even if I get nothing for it. I want to make music every day, and write, and engage with the world somehow. The thought of taking the GRE again, of preparing another writing sample... It seems off-track. Why would I do it? For the stipend? Getting paid to read and write isn't bad. But then I'll have to get a job. So why don't I just get a job now. It doesn't have to be the best job ever, just one that allows me the simple life I want. I don't want to be a Harvard hot shot. If it were given to me right now I would say no. So why work five years to then see whether I have a chance at it? But then, there is an emptiness in this simple life that I desire. I might be fooling myself into thinking that I will produce good things on my own. Maybe I do need an institution on my back. I just can't decide.