Catching up: in which I meditate on the nature of privilege and gendered norms of anger, with moments of Pollyanna, and also a bunch of stuff that happened this year.

So about this time last year, I got tired of blogging, and since this is primarily just for me, I gave it a rest. Now I’m considering coming back. No promises, no schedule, no deadlines. Just perhaps slightly more frequent musings and ponderings popping up over here.

Starting up again is a bit like talking to a distant acquaintance after a long absence– I feel that I need to bring everyone up to speed on the last year. (And who, really, is this is everyone? this vast-y faceless audience whose existence I just negated in the first paragraph. All of that everyone.)

So year in a nutshell, looking back, looking forward:

I taught. a lot. (Honestly, I feel like that’s all I’ve done for the last year. Which is not a bad thing, just crazy exhausting. But hey! I could still be bagging groceries! [Pollyanna moment brought to you by the attempt to acknowledge the privilege of working in an industry that I love, but also recognizing that  a) adjuncts are exploited labor and b) god, I’m tired. and pollyanna out. for now.]) So that. Four classes spread over three semesters, which doesn’t sound like much but is in addition to the real job that, you know, lets me pay for rent and wine.

I drove. a lot. I took an office job on campus, which is the only real option if you want to teach and have to do something else to make ends meet (classes generally meet during business hours– you need a relatively flexible schedule and a walk-to-another-building commute to make that work.) So the job is great– not really a passion project, but fits my needs. But since my schedule has changed (every day on campus instead of twice or so a week) I have to wrestle the wretched commute every. damn. day. It has not been good for my general psyche or well-being.

I’m feeling super complain-y, and not sure if that’s the whole privilege/pollyanna thing, or the gendered restrictions on showing anger (you should seriously read this LA Times article on gendered anger RIGHT NOW), or that chestnut of EWW’s resounding in my brain (Laugh and the world laughs with you/weep and you weep alone/for the sad old earth must borrow its mirth/but has trouble enough of its own…) I could go on– I had the whole thing, some 30 lines or so, memorized by the time I was 10. I was such a weird kid. I remember quoting it while jumping rope… it has that kind of rhythm, though the sentiments are, shall we say, not as peppy. Full text here, just in case your childhood wasn’t as, er, unique? as mine.

To return to the year in a nutshell, and not the analysis of my emotions therein– I applied to, was accepted to, and chose a PhD program. (!!!) (Those are three very distinct steps. I promise.) I’m starting at George Washington University in the fall, and I will be very excited once I’m not so tired. I trust and believe. I thought long and hard about moving out of the city– a few of my options seemed to provide more obvious “better life” options (small New England towns that I’ve longed to live in, for, well, forever) but in the end I went with the best education. So I’m going to have to work very hard at being happy in this city which I kind of hate. But that’s mostly about the commute. I have complicated feelings about the city. Abstractly, I know I should appreciate it– opportunities here, yadda yadda. Actually, I live too far to take advantage of anything in my city (some 30 miles to the south of DC) or anything in DC. poor poor pitiful me.

But that’s going to change! I’m moving (god, my apartment is a mess) in about a week to a place which will definitely have challenges, but which will at least be closer. And private! I’ve had a roommate or housemate since I moved to DC, and wow, is that not good for me. So lots of changes, lots of things happening, lots of the crappy things are going away. Hooray!

Here’s hoping it’s not another year before I post… but no promises.

Currently reading: Good Night, Mr. Holmes, Carolyn Nelson Douglas
Currently listening: You Must Remember This podcast
Currently knitting: Waiting for Rain

Image at top: Join the Polly Anna Club and Be Glad pin, circa 1910, made by the Boston Badge Co. She looks about as glad as I generally am.


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