Monday, February 21, 2011
Hello My Name Is: CLUELESS
Fast forward two months: A TAship that I had rightfully earned had been given to another student. Now I didn't have anything against that student (or the two returning TAs), but let's face it--I'd rocked my CV that first year and damn it I deserved that position! Then to make matters worse when I went to speak to my professors about it not one of them actually disagreed with me. I did have a kick ass CV. I had totally rocked my first year in grad school. I had deserved it. But I didn't get it. Why? Blame the passive aggressive bullshit bourgeois politics of higher ed where no one says what they mean, everyone speaks in circles, and you don't get recognition when recognition is well earned. Higher ed was not the noble space for higher learning that I had so naively believed it to be. I suddenly realized that I wanted no part of this institution or its gray politics. What now?
Well that was the question of the year and it was the question I had no answer to. What now? I'll turn 27 in exactly one month and I am still no closer to an answer I feel comfortable with. What now? I just don't fucking know. It's terrible.
Then today my friend posted this article on facebook. It's entitled "Where Have All the Good Men Gone" and since it clearly has nothing to do with me, I have absolutely no idea whatsoever why I even read it. Something in this completely irrelevant (at least to me) article sparked a mad google search that led me to this article about something called a quarterlife crisis.
What the hell is a quarterlife crisis? I scan the article and find myself slowing down to really read it. Holy crap! The stuff in this article sounds like me. I've spent the past year thinking I've suddenly gone batshit-crazypants and there might actually be a name to this batshit-crazypants funk I've been in? I-MUST-KNOW-MORE-NOW!!!
So I googled some more and that led me to this article that actually has a 25 question quiz to determine if you're having a quarterlife crisis. I answered yes to most of the questions. Here are some of the more pressing questions for me:
4. Are you concerned that you don't know what you want to do with your life? YES!
9. Do you ever feel that time is running out in regards to figuring out your career and deciding whether you want to get married and/or have children? YES! I feel like I'm reaching the end of the road. I'm married and if I ever want kids then I think I'd better figure out my career path and do it NOW before it's too late for both.
12. Do you feel that you have failed because you don't know what you want to do with your life? Yes. I really do. And it is really embarrassing to admit that, even to myself.
14. Is it difficult for you to make decisions and when you do, you question them? Yes. Everything used to be so black and white. I knew how to make a good decision and I made decisions quickly. Now I waffle over everything from what kind of laundry detergent to buy to what kind of job to apply to. It sucks.
15. Do you overanalyze yourself? Obviously I do or I probably wouldn't be taking a 25 question quiz right now, would I?
23. Are you thinking about going back to grad school because you don't know what else to do with your life? Yes and no...
24. Are you constantly thinking about the future resulting in anxiety and possibly panic? YES!!! It makes me want to puke.
25. Is your life just not at all turning out like you planned? My life is absolutely nothing like what I thought it would be or planned for it to be.
Holy hell! I'm not batshit-crazypants! I'm going through a quarterlife crisis!!! It has a name and its name is not batshit-crazypants!!!!
Of course naming my funk hasn't gotten me any closer to answering the pressing now what question. Or has it? Finding a name for it led me to this website which serves as a social networking tool for twenty-somethings who feel like they too are experiencing a quarterlife crisis. Recognition of this crisis, and that's exactly what it is--a crisis, has offered me some sense of relief. And I have been searching, begging, praying, desperately hoping for some relief for a year now. That's something, right? I know now that I am not all alone in this. I am not the only person feeling this pressing anxiety over the 'what now' question. I am not the only person who doesn't have all the answers. I am not the only person who has no idea what I am doing. There is some peace in that.