Hello, again, interwebs

I used to blog.  I used to blog a lot.  That was before grad school.  Like reading for fun, eating healthily,  keeping up with daily housework, and having healthy relationships like those outside acadamia, blogging went the way of my personal dodo somewhere around the first year of the master’s program.

Now, I’m not saying other people are not capable of doing all/some of the above things and doing well in grad school.  I know plenty of people who do all of the above, have courted and married happily, cooking gourmet meals, and there homes tidy, or at the very least not looking like something out of an A and E show, but I could not.

Today, I shall discuss the burn out on acadamia.

I cant’ really trace the genesis of the moment when I realized I did not want to finish my phd.  I think, if I had a gun to my head, it would come down to buying the car.  Note:  I love my car, but the payments were too much for me to make.  I had never been able to have say in car purchases previously, having been married to a guy (a great guy whom I bear no ill will whatsoever, and am sad for the ill will I presume he bears me) who was much wiser fiscally than I can ever hope to be, and I was a bit intoxicated with the ability to research, purchase, and finance a car independently.  I bit off more than I could chew, and have never been the best with handling money.  I found myself struggling each month to pay the bills, getting further and further behind, and then when monthly pay day came around, making foolish decisions w/ the money I did have, constantly robbing peter to pay paul.

What’s that got to do w/ acadamia?  Well, the further in the hole I got, the more jobs I took on, trying to get ahead.  and the less and less my research/work mattered, the more I worked.  I became depressed, I suspect cliniclly, working far more than I (as an individual, again, I know people who manage the balance just fine) could handle.  The constant rumbling of “no jobs, no jobs” was an on going din.  I was studying to be a feminist Shakespearian…if there is one thing the world doesn’t need more of besides crazy ass religious fundys who blow things up, it’s feminist Shakespearians.  I was working, trying to keep up w/ the grading, the driving, the teaching.  Students became not blessings, but a burden.  I was a terrible teacher that last semester, a pretty shitty girlfriend, a horrible housekeeper, and just generally not a good or happy person.  I hid it well, I think, but there it was.  Mixed in with this was the growing belief that what I was training to do–teaching other academics–really was meaningless.  I would joke about how useless I would be when the zombie apocolpyse came, but the utter ….self indulgence of it all began to get to me.  I was killing myself mentally, to achieve some standard of academic greatness, so that I could teach others to …..achieve academic greatness discussing books?

It was the comps that broke me, the defining moment when I realized that what I was putting myself through was not worth it.  That the ends would not have been worth the means, for me. I would attempt to study, but my brain was always fogged by other things that I should have been doing.  The list of books unread, the dishes unwashed, the papers ungraded, would overwhelm me to the point that I would just….freeze up, and do nothing.  Gnawed at by all the things I should have been doing, I would lay on the couch and watch tv, too overwhelmed by tasks undone to do any of them.  Of course, the bigger the mess around me grew, the more student work left neglected, the more the large binder of notes, secondary sources, and medieval texts lay unread, the more intimidating all of it became, and the more I would just….do nothing.  At times, I would contemplate faking a suicide attempt just so I would get put in a hospital, and all the responsibility would just. go. away.  I was always sick, and would find myself longing for the sickness to be bad enough that I would be put in the hospital.  Occasionally, the urge to just run away, disappear, make like some character in a bad “finding yourself” novel and just….go start a new life would be so strong that I would have to physically fight it.  From the space of a month and a half distance, I’m pretty sure I had a breakdown of sorts

So, I quit. I tried to plan my running away rationally, but  I’m not sure in retrospect that I succeeded.  I did what I had to, and frankly, in spite of the mistakes made in the process, I am sure that the decision was the best one that I could have made in that time, in that place, in that frame of mind.

So, that leads us to where we are now, and where I hope to reblog successfully.  I am unemployed, and being supported by my fiance.  In exchange for this, I am a housewife.  I’m learning to cook properly, not just from boxes and mixes.  I’ve gone from the extreme of living in a pit that I wouldn’t let people into it was so bad to cleaning every day.  We have two dogs that I’m training.  In spite of the sort of gruesome start to this blog, I hope to document these rather dramatic life changes in an amusing enough manner that it might be worth while for other people to read.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Stacy B.
    Feb 22, 2011 @ 17:10:56

    Hello Ms. Jeri. I was very impressed with your spelling in your inaugural post. XOXOXO and good vibes for a happy life.


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