Monday, August 25, 2008

Fall angst

There's a heaviness to this time of year, the traditional beginning of the school year, where everything somehow takes on a new urgency.

I haven't faced a fall without classes to go to since I was four. Twenty-one years total, four of them spent in grad school. Technically, I could still be doing the grad school thing if I wanted to, having part of a thesis to complete, but I decided not to. Earlier this year I decided I was fed up with academia -- its disconnect to the real world, how people treat it as such a joke, a system to be toyed with with such little accountability. I feel more respectable being a working girl with a "real job" now. I'm moving on with my life. Finally.

But I miss it anyway. I miss collecting fresh syllabi and buying new books and seeing everyone after a long summer of slacking off. I miss my friends most of all. Forget everything I said in the last paragraph, I half-wish I was going back with them.

Predictably, work is in some ways easier than school -- no more reading and heavy intellectual lifting -- but in most ways more difficult. College was a good place for a shy, geeky person like me to hide. Work is much more fast-paced (at least this job), there are many more expectations, and I have to play politics, which I hate. The term "pro-active" has been tossed around, a term I hate. Sounds too much like Prozac, not to mention it's a word that was made up in a self-help book. I have yet to make any good friends.

In transition is the worst place for me. Depression and stress, I really don't know a good way to deal with those. Talk to someone, I guess. But what if all your conversations are superficial and you don't think anyone wants to listen to your problems? I turn to brownie sundaes and late-night journal entries, tears, music.


La Brown Girl said...

It's better to face it now. Funny, I love school so much I turn to teaching and I get both worlds: new notebooks, books, etc., and the whole politics part of it too. Sometimes I wish I could tell my students all about it. It's such a crazy thing the world of teachers.

Anyway, I hope you feel better. I've cried twice this week. Last night and today, must be something in the air.

Annette said...

Thanks for that. I did feel a lot better today. Writing that post had a lot to do with it, though maybe I was being a little dramatic.