In the Dumps. Woe is Me.

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I think I can say the conference was a success. Hanging with Dr. Crazy was lots of fun. We got no sleep because we are loquacious beings who will stay up until the wee hours of the morning talking despite having to be up at the butt ass crack of dawn for an 8:10 am panel. I got to see my awesome undergraduate advisor who has an important posse of established senior scholars who are supportive of very junior scholars, and who are extremely fun to hang out with on top of that. Let me tell you about the kind of guy my undergrad advisor it. At a really nice Italian restaurant, he performed a melody of Squeeze songs at the dinner table. Sober. Yes, sober. I also got to meet and hang out with a very famous scholar in my field, like, he is the guy on the topic. And he is a lovely, lovely person. I want him to be my grandpa. And then I had a weird moment, which worked out well for me I think, as I feel I made a nice acquaintance. We’ll call her Professor X. So Prof X had joined our group (I had forgotten that she studied under famous scholar mentioned above). Well, I was introduced to her, recognized her name and said, “Oh, yeah! I used your dissertation for a seminar paper, and you interviewed me for my very first job interview like four years ago!” When she heard my name, she said, “oh my god! I remember you telling me that you had a copy of my dissertation! You know, we really should have hired you instead of the person we did.” To which I replied, “yes, I thought so, too” and I smiled and laughed pleasantly. So we spent a large part of the evening talking, and then we ended up on an historical tour together the next night, she invited me for dinner, and we had a very lovely conversation and a nice evening. What a small world academia really is.

And my paper went over really well.

Today though, I’m having a day. I’ve gone to the bank. I’ve picked up the mutts from the kennel. I got a decent night’s sleep (finally, after almost a week, but I clearly am not caught up yet). But this morning, despite it being an absolutely gorgeous day outside, I just feel like curling up in a ball and crying. Like a full on sad, sad weep. Why? I don’t know. I miss the husband. I’m worried about money. It’s been almost a week since I’ve worked out. Those are just the little things. I know what the big thing is. I think it is that I know that my life, our lives, are going to be on hold for yet another year. If this job in the J’s unit in Home City opens up, or rather, let me rephrase that–when the job at the J’s unit in Home City opens up, he is going to apply for it. And he should. I want him to finish school, but as we both don’t quite know what we’re doing yet, and if this job he was hoping to get for the summer does not work out (which it’s the one where he could make enough over the summer that with that and his GI Bill, that next year would be doable without him getting a job and going to school, and we could do more than just survive), then he will take it, which means living apart next year. We also can’t get out of our apartment either like we had hoped (unless again this summer job works out, but it’s looking less and less likely since his AT is three weeks instead of two, so that’s a problem sort of), so we are stuck. It’s just so damn expensive to move in and around Fancy Town. And I’m not willing to blow nearly $3000 in moving expenses just to save $100-200 a month, which is exactly why we didn’t move last year when we actually had the money to move. So I know that’s why I’m depressed. Because we want to settle down, but it’s near impossible to right now. And we really wanted to work on having babies this year. Like you know, have a kid by next April, but because of our living situation and the possibility of the J living in one place and me in another, an income that cannot even support one person let alone two adults and a child, well, it’s just not going to happen. And the thought of not being able to have a kid in the next year, of having to continue waiting, makes me really really really really so extremely sad.

Why doesn’t the J get a job where we live rather than go to school you might ask. Well, he has no degree, which where we live, any job he could get without a degree would give him less of an income than he makes on the GI Bill, so where we are, he makes more money with the GI Bill and being in school. If he got a full time national guard job, like the one he’s applying for in Home City, in Fancy Town, it would mean a daily hour to 1.5 hour commute to the city, or it would mean he lived in a neighboring state during the week, so that’s still quite an expense, and the money he would get for this job would be the same amount of money he would make at the same job in Home City, in which case even if I flew to Home City to see him twice a month, we’d still have larger overall income and be able to save more than if he had the same job in Fancy Town. How bad does that suck, eh? If he did stay in Home City, then I could actually feasibly move to somewhere cheaper because he’d have the mutts, so that would save an expense. It would also mean that my current place would be $60 a month cheaper (so that’s like what? $700 a year I could save next year without them?). So really, no wonder I’m fucking depressed man. It turns out it’s cheaper for me and my husband to live apart and that we’d make more money and have more comfortable lives doing so. That’s freaking awesome! >:-/ And really, if we did live apart, most of my paycheck would go toward my apartment and the expense of living where I do, so if the J got this job and I quit my job, it wouldn’t cost us my whole salary. You know what we would lose a year for me to move back to Home City? Less than $15K a year. Which in Home City, that would seriously be like the equivalent of $8 or $9K a year which is an inconvenience rather than dire straights. That’s how much of my income right now goes to having the privilege of living where I live. Despite my constant ongoing complaints about my job and academic life in general, I do love what I do, even with all the shit that comes with it. And I’m not willing to give up yet. But if I think about this too much longer, I’m afraid that I’m going to be back on anti-depressants by the end of the summer. I really don’t want to do that.

So today, to feel better, I’m going to go to the grocery, go for a run, and read some stuff. If I read for pleasure, then I won’t write. If I read for work related stuff, I’ll write for 15 minutes. But for now, I’ve got to do something that won’t make me depressed. Although since groceries are so much cheaper here than in Fancy Town, that that will make me depressed, too.

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2 responses »

  1. 1) It was super-fun to hang with you, too! And yes, we are a chatty pair 🙂

    2) I hope that you feel better. Seriously? All of those things are sucky. But a lot of them you can’t control. What you *can* control is producing the research that you want to produce this summer; what you *can* control is preparing yourself to seek out opportunities in other parts of the country should it come to that; what you *can* do is take good care of yourself and be nice to yourself. (Imagine me wagging my finger at you very bossily.)

  2. This is sage advice Crazy. And advice I will take as I begin to work on one of the things that has to be finished by August 5th. I certainly have my work cut out for me this summer, and I must work at break neck speed, but right now at least, I’m up for the challenge. 🙂

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