Monday, 4 January 2016

First Day Back Blues

I love it. I haven’t even gotten to work yet on my first day back after vacation and I’m already feeling so much anxiety I want to cry.
Of course, delays on the subway made an already stupidly long commute even longer, I’m not sure whether I’m even going to get a paycheck next payday and I’m already broke, and I’m still trying to resubmit an article that has been a bogeyman for almost three years. Oh yeah, and I quit smoking as a New Year’s Resolution. I want to curl up in a blanket on my couch and not move.
The real issue that has triggered all of this is the article. This fucking article that has been rejected and revised I don’t know how many times, and is a symbol of my failed academic career. You can’t take three years to get research published anymore and get a job in today’s market. There are lots of arguments to be made about how unfair the market is, gender bias and lack of jobs, but at the end of the day, I’m just not good enough. There are lots of things I do very well, but writing articles is not one of them, and it’s kind of a big deal as an academic. I thought that maybe it was just an issue of practice-that since I have been writing so much as part of my current job that it would get better. It hasn’t. The crippling anxiety that basically screwed up my postdoc is still here, roaring in my ears and making my chest feel like someone is squeezing it from the inside.  But this realization that I have failed, and that I need to move on is not really working as a cure for my ills, either. I feel like a failure, and I am, in the sense that I failed at y goal of becoming a professor. Despite the fact that I applied for two positions this year and there is still a faint hope in my chest, I really have to face up to the fact that it ain’t gonna happen, and I have failed.

So, now all I can do is try and finish the academic commitments I have made, while trying to find a job that pays decently, doesn’t require a three hour commute and is not on a month to month basis. I guess that what I should be focusing on, even if I feel like I will just fail at that too. Needless to say, this is probably not going to be a good mental health day.

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