Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Incommunicado

Ok, so if the past 36 or so hours are any indication, finishing the MLA Special Session proposal pushed me over the edge. I hit my breaking point, and, in a rare though not entirely unheard of occurrence, I lost all desire to communicate with other human beings. (This happened last year after the last candidate visit for the search committee I was on, and I feel like it happens every year in the spring for some reason or another, actually. Hmmm....)

So yesteray, I did not blog. I did not send emails. I did not answer the phone. Sure there were a few (a small few) exceptions to the above, but all in all, yep, I took a fucking break from communicating. (Have I ever mentioned my theory that communication actually can cause more problems than it solves? That ultimately talking, talking, talking doesn't make anything better but kills things that are great? While the theory doesn't apply to all situations, it applies to more than people in our communication-obsessed culture would like to admit, I think.)

Tragically, today must be all about the communication because of trying to opt out yesterday. Must smoothe things over with Trans Am (whom I ignored yesterday, but jesus, he's not my boyfriend and I don't need to talk to him every damned day), must grade some things, must respond to many emails and actually send some emails of my very own that are not responses.

I'm going to try to get all of the above done in by noon - or at the very latest 2 PM. And then I'm going to go back to not speaking. I just need to recharge. I need to be in a place where I actually want to speak to people. This is the problem with having a social life even as one has a job where people are constantly in your face and where you constantly have to use words - it's just too much. I can do the job without a social life, and I can do a social life without the job, but doing them both at the same time makes me fly off the handle and feel just completely.... not myself, or like the life is being sucked out of me or something.

(You know, maybe this is one reason why I've not taken the plunge and gotten myself a shrink - other than that I've not felt like therapy was the answer for me right now or whatever.... I'm a pretty communicative and reflective person, generally, but the thought of making an appointment and paying to fucking talk to somebody about my problems when one of my biggest problems is having to fucking talk to so many people seems counterintuitive. What I feel like I need most is not to talk more but just to shut the fuck up.)

8 comments:

Hilaire said...

I think this is one of the side effecst of email. I totally know what you mean. Email is a curse in many ways.

Good for you for taking the day off.

life_of_a_fool said...

I so know what you mean about being able to have this job, or a social life, but that the two together can be too much. This is a problem, since both (at the same time!) would be nice. . .

Dr. Medusa said...

You are doing a communication de-tox! I think it's a good thing.

Terri said...

my posse of fellow women academics and I refer to this phenomenon as "going on shutdown." we usually send one warning signal to at least one member of the posse so that when someone falls off the email or phone circuit the report comes in to the rest of us: "she's on shutdown." then we don't worry that they are dead or something.

it's an absolute survival strategy. enjoy it.

Elizabeth said...

remember when people used to make fun of bob dylan for mumbling non-sensically? and have you wondered why or when he stopped doing that? to this last, neither did i. but anyway, apparently he went into that mumbling phase for exactly the reasons you describe here--he got sick of words and talking and just didn't feel like doing it for a while. would that we all had that luxury of experimentation.

Dr. Crazy said...

Terri:

I love the "going on shutdown"! I'm totally stealing that!

I also think I may just begin mumbling nonsensically, ala Bob Dylan :)

I'm coming out of incommunicado mode, which I think is good. By the way, can I just say that the Beastie Boys' lyric "Like Ma Bell, I got the ill communication!" has been running through my head throughout this ordeal?

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Going on shut down is perfectly ok... I may do it next Tuesday.... I may need it after a hubby weekend up here, which includes lots of friends and family.

Nothing is so important that it can't wait 24 hours, we are academics, not heart surgeons...

adjunct whore said...

i love your rejection of the shrink and why. in addition to the strangeness of paying someone to talk when you (we) can clearly do it is paying someone to analyze you less well than you do yourself. you have to be a pretty tricky smarty pants to get around and through the serious structure that make up most reflective english academics (and others i'm sure!)