Friday, December 14, 2007

A Weird Week

I haven't quite known how to write in a real way here this week, or, if I'm honest, for a while. I've been in a bit of a state for about 12 different reasons, and that's had me turning inward, feeling insecure in ways that aren't characteristic and writing in my journal a lot. But so. What's going on with me?

The Market

Well. As I believe I've noted, I'm out. On the one hand, this hasn't been too terrible to deal with, and I don't want to pretend that my rejections sting in the way that they would if I were unemployed or underemployed or even unhappily employed. I only sent out a handful of applications, and well, what did I really expect? That said, I really had believed that the book would mean something market-wise, even as much as I tried to talk myself out of believing that. And guess what? It didn't. It doesn't. And so, well, that's made me reevaluate a bit about my value in this profession more broadly. I think maybe I've been wrong to assume that my feeling of being unappreciated is institution-specific. I'm beginning to think that this feeling stems from much broader sources, and well, maybe it's good to acknowledge that. And also to move on from that, because you know what? All of this putting oneself under one's own and others' microscopes is really debilitating at a certain point. I'm good at what I do; I've done well insomuch as I can have done well given a variety of constraints. The end.

The Job

Things with my job are... ridiculously good. I know, sick, isn't it? But true. First of all, it's not a done deal, but it may well be that I'm only teaching two courses next semester. Obviously I will have to trade my soul for this, but it may be a good trade, in that the soul-trading would get me a title and some decent admin experience. I'm thinking that having more admin experience would be a good thing should I ever want to move, as I have absolutely no hope that I'll ever be able to move within my discipline in higher education. No, moving might mean moving into administration. Is that what I want? I don't know. But I want to be able to be mobile. I do not want to feel trapped. And so, better to get this experience if it works out. (If it doesn't work out, it will be more because of my criteria than because of others' for indeed, I've got a wee bit of power in my current situation. Only a wee bit, but every little wee bit counts.) But even aside from this, well, things are just really good in my department and with how I'm doing here. This is a good thing.


Ok, it's lame to blame one's moods on the hormones, but for real, people, I become a maniac in the days before Lady Time. And this is only exacerbated by end-of-semester stress and any other stressors that I might encounter. But so I've found myself in tears more than once this week, which is odd as really, I don't cry nearly as much as I did when, say, I was like 19. Indeed, I'd begun to think I'd dried up. But apparently no. I'm thinking it might not be altogether bad that my emotions are actually running so close to the surface, as it may well mean that I'm not dead inside. Always nice to have confirmation of that :)


I'm less ready for the holidays this year than I've been in, well, years. I didn't even put up my sad little ceramic Christmas tree or my sad little nativity scene. And I suspect I won't. It just doesn't feel like Christmas this year. And none of my shopping's done, and I didn't send out Christmas cards and and and.

Not Related to Any of the Above

I've been in a pretty... intense... yes, I think that's the best word... place lately. A flying-off-the-handle-y sort of place. A cranky and petulant place. But the thing is, I don't think this is all necessarily bad, or doesn't need to be. I think it's because I'm in a kind of vulnerable place and in a transition-y sort of place. I think that when I come out on the other side, I will be GRAND. The difficulty, though, is that others have to deal with me when I'm in the intense, transition-y, flying-off-the-handle-y, cranky, petulant, vulnerable state. And that really sucks for them. And I know it sucks for them, and I hate that it does, but I can't stop it. Or I won't stop it. Whatever. At any rate, I'm hoping that this is a growing pains sort of thing and not a "I'm tragically fucked up and I drive people away from me" sort of thing. We shall see!

So yeah, it's been a weird week. And next week will be weird in entirely different ways, as I'll be visiting the family as well as some other important visiting. And then (unbelievably) it's MLA. And then, it's the new year! And can I just say, I'm ready for a new year? And in random moments I've been thinking already about resolutions and feeling excited to actually determine the final resolution list and to make a fresh start? What kind of nerd gets excited about making new year's resolutions? That would be Dr. Crazy :)


David said...

Good to hear from you. Sorry about the job market. Christmas just hasn't grabbed on this year. It just doesn't feel a whole like Christmas.

Maggie said...

Crazy, I believe we may have had the same week. In fact, from this post, I believe we may in fact be the same *person*! (No just kidding-- because, poor you if that were the case!) Anyhoo, I am glad things are going well with your job. And transitioning places are exciting places to be, that's for sure.

Maude Lebowski said...

okay, it is NOT lame to blame anything on hormones, especially when it's legit like PMS, because if it is lame, then i'm like the lamest person on the face of the earth! say it ain't so.

i, too, am glad to hear/read that things are going well with the job. it sounds like you really have the chance and opportunity to do some cool and meaningful stuff where you are. i admire that and am a wee bit jealous.

yeah, i love new year's resolutions, too.

Maude Lebowski said...

p.s. i've tagged you for a meme!

Belle said...

Maybe you just need to wallow in you-ness for a while, not worrying about much beyond the moment and relishing in the feeling-ability. I swear that's why I indulge in much of my entertainment; it assures me that indeed, I am not dead inside.

The Constructivist said...

Sometimes it takes a while for the book to sink in, job market-wise. A buddy of mine got out of adjunct hell only on the second try after the book came out. I wish somebody would do a national study on how many professors have 1 book, 2 books, 3 books, etc. I have to figure the majority of the profession has 0. What would be really cool would be a breakdown by subfield. Has anyone done that?

idgie said...

sometimes it's good to take time off of christmas decorating - like when it becomes a huge chore instead of something fun. i read someone who suggested getting rid of all one's decorations every year, because they just get broken and encumber us. i don't do that because i enjoy the history i've had with certain ornaments, plus they are too expensive, but i took a number of years off and it has made me enjoy the holidays these past 2 years.

thanks for sharing yourself in transition...i really enjoy your blog!

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

OK, I'm late and lame (plans have changed about half a dozen times, and not because I'm on the market), but could I join the MLA meet-up? I'm not attending, but I will be in Chicago after Xmas.