Thursday, January 21, 2010


This whole week has just been a big ball of suck on the personal front for me. I've had banking problems, bad news at work, snipy colleagues talking smack about people who happen to disagree with them politically. I've had stuff break, stuff go wrong, people take stuff that was said the wrong way.

I'm just kind of tired and sad. I get like this once in a while. And I get to feeling kind of sorry for myself. If I had been smart enough - or outgoing enough - or WHATEVER enough - and had managed to marry, I would not be facing all of this alone. I could come home and talk it over with someone else, get someone else's opinion. And I'd have someone else to come with me to the bank and back me up - or someone to sit by the phone at home and wait on a call while I am out taking care of necessary things. (And I'd have the chance at other times to feel useful by doing the same for him).

Sometimes being single in a community that is mostly couples and families feels a lot like fighting your way through a South American jungle with a dull machete while everyone else has chainsaws and Bobcats.

And you know, I know people love me and all. But sometimes I need to hear it. And yet, I can't quite bring myself to call a relative up - or a friend - and say to them, "Tell me that you love me." To me, that feels manipulative and needy. And the truth is, yes, dammit, I'm emotionally needy right now but I don't want those closest to me to know. It's kind of a very personal hell to be in - to feel like you need something but also have your feelings of not wanting to LOOK like you need it be greater than that need.

I'm just very worried and very scared about what will happen with my career. If teaching gets to be untenable, what do I do? I don't have a hella lot of skills. I don't have sufficient love or tolerance of my fellow man to do stuff like wait on tables - I'd be dumping hot soup in people's laps and stuff like that. I don't think I quite have enough saved up to go back to school and learn to do something else...and then what would I do with all my stuff? I'd have to sell my house and move away. I'd probably have to sell all my books. Or put them in storage, where they'd be damaged or stolen. (Been there, done that, years ago.)

Maybe this is the end of college teaching as a career for people, the future is University of Phoenix where people with "real jobs" moonlight (literally; I know someone who worked for them and they were expected to be available quite late into the night) by being "content providers." I don't want to be a content provider. I want to be a professor. But maybe that career is going away. And maybe some would say it's time for it to go away, maybe we really are all a waste of tax dollars. I don't know. Maybe only the really damn good hot-shot researchers will have university careers. And the rest of us - those of us who are at best "floppers," will have to go out and try to find something else to do with our lives. (I don't do research that would be interesting or seen as valuable by most people. I'm not curing diseases or looking for new energy sources. Actually, some days I ask myself if I even deserve this job.)

I realize on some level that I'm whipping myself up into a flurry of "what ifs," but it's my nature to want to be prepared - emotionally or otherwise - for bad crap that's going to happen. That sometimes mean I agonize a lot over stuff that never happens.

I don't know. I almost snapped at my dad last night, he asked, "Are you getting enough to eat?" I mean, of all the nonsensical questions (from my perspective, at least). I almost said, "Dad! I weigh [number redacted] pounds, I could afford to miss a few meals. But I'm not! And of all the ways I could fail to take care of myself, that's the one I'm least worried about!" And I've been on the verge of tears a few times this week.

It is too early in the semester for me to feel this way. I need some kind of good news, or, actually better, some kind of reassurance.

(I need reassurance - both that I am doing all right, that I am not totally screwing everything up, that I am not horrible at what I am doing - and in a more cosmic sense, that things will be all right (and I don't just mean all right "on the other side," I don't want to have to wait for that). I don't feel up to asking the people right around me for it though. It's hard for me to ask for emotional support when I need it because I have cultivated this illusion of being the tough strong career woman who doesn't need anybody...)

I had something at church I was supposed to go to tonight but I'm just going to skip it. I'm tired and I have a sore throat. I don't absolutely have to be there (it's not like a meeting that I need to be at). I know I will have people sad-faced on Sunday because I didn't show up, but you know? I just don't feel well. (And I know: "If you feel sad, go out and be around people; it will make you feel better." It doesn't always work that way for me. In fact, often I feel more stressed...because the parents get onto the parenting discussion and I have nothing to say, or because I feel like I have to be "up" and entertaining, or just because the whole thing breaks up later than I would like it to and I worry about being tired the next day).

I suppose all of this COULD be because I'm coming down with a cold (hence the sore throat). That would be the best possible explanation.


Heroditus Huxley said...

Oh, Ricki, I'm so sorry! I know I don't comment often, but I read your stuff, and I like the person I can see behind the words. I like her a lot. I don't know if that helps, but I just thought I'd let you know.

Maggie May said...

I like her too! I wish there was more I could say that would make a difference.