I had a video for today, but too much has happened and I just can’t bear to make light of it. My heart is breaking in so many ways. I’m scared for my future, my friends, my family, my country, and I just can’t find a way to wrap my mind around it all. There is just so much that I can’t fathom. I don’t know how we’ll get out of it and I can’t see a bright future at the end.
My truth is this:
I grew up in public housing, in a single parent home. I was poor. Public television inspired me. I ate free school lunches. I completed an undergraduate degree because of grants, and a graduate degree because of an assistantship. I completed a second grad degree because of a subsidized federal loan. I worked my ass off for a future that is at risk because someone else’s elected official(s) does not value the work I do nor the people I come from.
And then there is the threat to our peace and our environment. I just don’t have the words.
Can 2012 be the worst year ever? I’ve had a few bad years, but this one is really taking it to a new level.* Nothing life-threatening (and for that I am eternally grateful), but the woes, worries, and stressors just keep coming. For one, I’ve had too many kitty issues this year. Why are the kitties making me worry and cry so much?! Then there are the car troubles and bills bills bills. I even had to see my dentist because my unconscious teeth-grinding was making my jaw hurt like mad a couple of weeks ago. I need one good month. Or a mini-break that does not end in me coming home to a brand new batch of trouble (as happened after I returned from my last two vacations).
Gotta just keep breathing. Zen. Yoga. Grrr…. stop teeth-gritting.
*I’m one of those weird academic types who thinks of years in terms of school years rather than Jan-Jan.
A few weeks ago, one of my dissertation students (I edit dissertations) told me about the difficulties that made her push her dissertation to the side and deal with life for a year before finalizing her graduation. At the time, I commiserated. I was going through a rough patch myself, so she shared some Mongolian wisdom with me (she’s from Mongolia, if my seeming non sequitur threw you off). She said, “In Mongolia, we say that bad things happen to clear the way for good things to come.” Or something along those lines. My mental quoting is not as accurate as I would like it to be. I am waiting for my good things to come. March was a mess of a month and the first week of April has gone downhill at an alarming rate. My stress levels are insanely high at the moment and it’s all I can do to stop myself from crashing on my bed and refusing to get up for a week.
I’ve noticed that most of my recent ramblings involve work. It’s a subject that lingers in my mind and one which I am particularly neurotic about mostly because I feel terribly priviliged to have a job in my chosen field, but partly because my prospects were absolute crap for so long. No other way to say it but to be blunt. They were crap. I earned my BA at the height of the recession in ’08. There were no jobs available in my area, at least not for new graduates with little to no professional experience. I jumped straight into grad school–twice–in order to become a viable candidate. In many respects, I am a classic case of Gen Y or Millennial delayed adulthood. I’m now in the latter stages of twenty-somethingness. I live at home because I have too many student loans to pay. And I am incredibly pessimistic about job security (was there ever such a thing?). I actually learned I fit the Millennial bill during a teaching workshop where I was one of three young ‘uns among seasoned professors and suddenly found myself being categorized as a sort of clingy child with tech skills that wants to be coddled by adults. It was an odd experience to say the least. I reject much of the Gen Y characterization, but the security of living at home has certainly made up for the lack of professional security so I will fly my clingy child flag for now.
But back to my neurosis about work… I love my job but I have no real faith in my long-term prospects within the field. I’m a librarian; it’s a tenuous area if the library and/or institution it is affiliated with fails to adapt to changes in academia. The bchan (otherwise known as the boy I’ve taken up with) is going through his own lack of professional security and delayed adulthood. He’s in the social services field. If my field has taken a hit, it’s nothing compared to his. Social services are tied to all kinds of government and charitable funding that just isn’t there. They are also tied to good management and that is a rare gem among the organizations in our area. He may or may not get a pink slip this week in another round of cuts. My own negative outlook on work prospects since becoming part of the job market make me a poor candidate to offer blind hope in that area. It also makes me go all quiet when the students I work with discuss their hopes and dreams after graduation. I’m not sure I can ever get over this feeling of doom.
Fire is one of those things that terrify me more than anything (drowning is a close second, particularly as I live near so many waterways). It’s the second time one of the apartments in my complex catches on fire and I can’t help but think how lucky I am that it didn’t happened to our home. We’ve had some near misses–two, actually. My neighbor is quite old and leaves her stove on when she goes out or to bed, or sets it way up on high and forgets to check on it. Twice, I heard the fire alarm blaring and called the fire department on time. I wonder who called the fire department for this apartment? It was also the result of a pot left unattended. So tragic when something like this happens.
Health Care Reform. In simpler terms, health care that will really cover me when I need it and not sink me in debt. I am still waiting for this elusive creature. It’s like the fabled Yeti—many have spoken of it, few have encountered it. I am at a loss and no help in sight.
My terrible math skills managed to pass muster after all. I was starting to fear all sorts of doom and gloom seeing the empty space where my grade for the budgeting assignment should be. I expected to receive an email telling me that my budget was totally incomprehensible and I should just quit now and be done. I guess I underestimated myself–the budget was understandable and easy to follow, or so I am told. Thank you Excel.
It’s been a hectic week, the weather has been terrible, we’ve had some family difficulties, and I’m a bit behind on my assignments, but I got an A on my chronology and all is well. At least I have one less worry to think about.
Hurricane or no hurricane? The cone forecast leaves much to be desired.
I remember being a kid and loving tropical storm days, it’s like snow days for Floridians. When did I realize that even a “light” tropical storm could cause a lot of damage? These things scare me like nothing else… except tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.