universityoflies

roasting marshmellows in phd hell

on hope.

with 6 comments

Yesterday I rediscovered an old mix tape cd from my undergraduate days.  These songs were the background noise for a really exciting time in my life.  I was getting ready to graduate, giving my passport a good workout every few months, and crizazy in love.  I felt so fucking happy and hopeful about the future.

Hearing those songs again after such a long time really jolted me.  I had forgotten what it felt like to be 21 and uncrushed by the world.  That electric feeling, like you’re going to go out and grab the universe by the balls and do all of this cool shit, just gradually faded away until I forgot it ever existed.  Then you wake up and it’s 10 years later and you feel trapped by the mundane nature of  your daily routine and all the shitty things you don’t really want to do but you’ve convinced yourself that you have to.  It’s easy to forget that you have a choice.

And this is fucking tragic.  I know that I whine and complain a lot on this blog, and I’m grateful to have it as an outlet, but just because academia is stupid and my adviser is stupid and my job is stupid, so what?

SO FUCKING WHAT?

I’m alive!

I have a place to sleep at night, food to eat, and someone to love.  I am fucking rich yo!  And as long as I’m alive, anything can happen!  I can do the things I was excited to do before I willingly let academia fit me for cement shoes.  I can change my job.  I can change who I associate with and try to think more positively.  Once I submit my thesis and finish teaching this semester, I can walk away from those things and try to find meaningful work that doesn’t give me restless leg syndrome.  Or maybe I won’t find meaningful work.  Then I can find something that I don’t mind and seek fulfillment elsewhere.

I AM ALIVE!  And if you’re reading this, you probably are too! This just gets better and better!

I’ll leave you with two of the songs that, 10 years later, still make me feel very fucking lucky that we are here and capable of making such beautiful things.

 

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6 Responses

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  1. Sure, you kvetch a lot, but you’re hilarious. Love your posts.

    Toonces

    October 24, 2013 at 00:10

  2. I remember that song well too, since it overlaps the same time in my life. I have slowly been seeing the potential of a new life and am planning the escape. I still find a tiny bit of me wanting to grasp after the tenure of undeserved privilege, both to justify all the years I’ve put in to this business and because I fear nothing else will have as much undeserved privilege (that I could theoretically attain). Of course sacrificing any more time and effort to this business in order to grasp at that straw is irrational, and I think I will avoid it. Many of those I have seen succeed in it have nothing in their character worthy of admiration, yet academia seemed to positively reward them for it. I like your new perspective here and take it as a sign of encouragement.

    Candide

    December 8, 2013 at 07:48

    • Thanks, Candide.. You are right about academia rewarding people for shitty characteristics.. keep fighting the good fight..

      universityoflies

      December 10, 2013 at 21:34

  3. Thank you for this. I loved these songs too.
    After a couple of weeks off I spent a a few of hours trying to work on my master´s thesis today and then read my student´s reviews of the class I taught last semester. End result: a panic attack and quite a few tears. But as you say, I´m alive, and shit will get better.

    nothingorsomething

    January 3, 2014 at 08:44

    • Aw I sympathize… reading those reviews can be the worst.. if it makes you feel better, try and remember that it’s probably the students who did no fucking work who thought they could use their anonymity to be douches. It’s a terrible feeling though.. I would bet a fair amt of money that the negative reviews used terrible grammar and syntax.. I’m sure the people reading that shit will take into account where it is coming from. Fuck it and do something nice for yourself today. Hang in there yo.

      universityoflies

      January 3, 2014 at 16:00


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