Last year, when I was applying to graduate school, I spent a lot of energy looking for scholars who did work on the basic (as in basic science) phenomena that I'm interested in rather than scholars who did work in queer studies, and well, I'm applying for graduate school again, so I'll let you decide how well that worked out.
Actually, there are a lot of reasons why I'm not in graduate school right now, some of which I think, with hindsight, I'd be able to fix, others were pretty unavoidable. But in any case, one of the things that added to my failure to get into graduate school was the fact that I was perpetually trying to convince prospective professors that it really did all fit together perfectly in the end.
As a result of this, and my desire to appear less scattered this time around I've been thinking about my project in terms of the very specific academic goals and less in terms of the cool things that make this subject personally interesting. The end result: I come off as really boring and stilted. Joy.
I had a conversation a bit ago with a professor who was really interested in queer studies (as, it turns out, many of the people I'm interested in studying with this time around) and it caught me off guard to think that there was someone out there who saw this as the most interesting thing about me, not the least. I mean it's pretty obvious, it just felt good.
Sometimes, in desperation, I've thought about switching to another field, because of the way that I'm so distant from my own, but sometimes I realize that even if I'm a little discontented, this is the stuff that I'm best at and when it "fits," it really does fit.
Onward and Upward!