She was too smart. I mean that.
"You should try reading Shakespeare in German," she told me once. "It’s funny as hell. You’d get a kick out of it."
Side note: Watch a 2020 Zoom call from the future. Post continues below.
"I mean, you’ll have to learn German first..."
This kind of thing would usually irritate me. But my friend wasn’t trying to show off. She was just being her brainiac self.
She was the smartest girl I'd ever met. She knew four languages, not counting Old English — or the Japanese she picked up from living in Tokyo. Given all of this, you might wonder why it took her almost 10 years to finish her PhD, more than twice as long as her friends.
I told you.
She was too smart.
My friend didn’t struggle with the usual problems.
She didn’t hate her job. She didn’t procrastinate. Over the years, she wrote hundreds of pages for her dissertation.
She loved spending all day (and night) in the library.
She wasn’t shy.
She was downright charming. You could go out for coffee with her and come back feeling like a different person.
She made everyone around her smarter.
She didn’t have problems with confidence, or getting dates. Somehow she managed to live a full life, just stitching together gigs and living that photogenic minimalist lifestyle.
She eventually found someone who appreciated her brains, along with everything else she had to offer.
She just couldn’t finish her dissertation.