But last night, I wasn't able to think about all of the ways in which I've been putting myself first, and instead I was thinking to myself that I would never have a fulfilling personal life because the job is sucking away my soul. This also may have had something to do with the fact that I was watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in preparation for teaching it, and well, those people aren't too happy with their lives either.
--- time passes ---
At any rate, now, I started this post but then got side-tracked because a student came by to be advised and another student came by to interview me for an assignment he had to do for his literary theory class, and then I decided to send these emails that I should have sent two weeks ago, and now I'm not feeling all ambivalent and upset and everything the way I was but instead I'm feeling energized because I'm getting good work done. See, this is the problem: I really, really like my job. All the parts of it. I know, it's sick, isn't it? In the past, when I've worked at jobs that I don't like, I've had no problem putting my personal life first. Even when I was a student, I was not a model student, but skipped class and put my own personal needs above the demands of the course. But now that I'm a professor, I have a hard time doing it not because I feel like I have to - I am probably the one person in my cohort who is certain to get tenure based on publication alone - but because I really like all of what I'm doing. And so, how do you say no to things that you actually want to do?
I mean, even this thing where I'm taking over for my colleague. No, it's not my dream gig, but I do want to help her/the department out and I am being (well) compensated for my (minimal) efforts. So should I say no on principal, or should I do the thing and be ok about it? I think the problem is that I feel like I'm not "supposed" to enjoy doing all of what I'm doing - I feel like I'm "supposed" to be upset that my life is so dominated by work instead of energized by the work that I'm doing. And so I feel this weird need to beat myself up because I'm not beating myself up enough or something.
I don't know where I'm going with any of this. I suppose I just wanted to blurt out all of this - that I'm really quite pleased with all of what I'm accomplishing, and I'm afraid of becoming overwhelmed even though I don't necessarily feel overwhelmed, and I do want to have a personal life but at the same time I'm finding my professional life really, really rewarding right now and so I don't really feel that bad about the lameness of the personal, and yeah-I don't know what else. I guess that's it, for now. I'm going to go accomplish more things!