Almost There!

Ok, so perhaps some of you have noticed the MA Thesis progress bar has advanced to 100%. That effect is due to the fact that on April 8 (only 3 weeks ago!) I defended and passed. Suddenly I are an authority.

I am now in the format check stages and am ready to print the copies on bond paper. This means that I have to pull more money out of my butt. I am still not sure where the school thinks I get all this money to spend on crap like caps and gowns and 20 lb. bond paper. I also don’t understand why the school makes walking in the ceremony mandatory. I could refuse to participate, but it is actually more difficult to do that than to just go ahead and participate. Can’t I just quietly bask in my own sense of achievement instead of spending 2 1/2 hours in a smelly auditorium watching people I don’t know yammer and prance about? My family wants to come and sit through all of that just to watch me walk (and probably trip) across the stage for 5 seconds.

I only have about 2 1/2 more weeks until graduation. I am sort of wigging out because I’m one of those people who is never really prepared for these events. Also, about two weeks after I graduate, we’re moving to Austin. I am so not prepared for that, either, even though I am excited about it. I really don’t adjust well to life change. Well, actually, maybe I do, but my last major life change (relocation) involved trauma and a great deal of loss. In fact, we’re discovering lately that we may not be fully recovered from that event. I know that many people look at my life and wonder why I am “still going on” about Katrina, but the fact is, a week doesn’t go by when I am not almost physically sick over the event itself and of course, selfishly, its effects on my life. I mourn my pre-Katrina life often, even though in many ways my life is better now than it was then. Insipid, spineless, and self-pitying, I know.

My psych M.D. actually told me that between graduate school stress and leftover Katrina stress, I actually have “post-post traumatic stress disorder.” He actually said that. I doubt it’s a medical term. At the time, I kept thinking that if we didn’t live in a “post-post modern world” I wouldn’t have “post-post traumatic stress disorder.” In any case, I feel like I’m on so many mood stabilizers, anti-depressants, and  tranquilizers that I should be pooping rainbows.  Weird thing is, I’m not. I take tons of crap at night that is supposed to make me drowsy, but I wake up in the middle of the night anyway. Just thinking about it gives me the urge to try and escape, but as I learned last year, I can’t escape myself. Sad, really.

I should feel accomplished and happy now, but I am traitorously feeling anxious instead. I am worried about all sorts of ridiculous things:

I worry that my friends and relations are really tired of me being anxious. I am worried that I won’t able to keep my anxiety, depression, and bizarre desire to flee under control enough to function productively over the next year before entering the PhD program. I’m also stupidly worried that I’m going to have gone through all the trouble and money to get a PhD and then not be able to function productively as a university professor. I’ll be 50 grand in debt and not be able to work… Might as well get “SAD PILE OF LOSER” tattooed on my forehead if that happens. I worry about how ridiculous my worries are. James (http://www NULL.ambardia NULL.com) is always admonishing me to stop worrying and let him take care of things, but he doesn’t seem to understand that he can’t take care of the decisions I am unable to make and my subjective life experiences.

I am really trying to take positive steps and think about these issues constructively. Having to battle my own internal “fight or flight” instincts is really cramping my style. I can only hope that once we get relocated I can just get active enough to channel this crap into positive energy. Or relax more so I don’t explode.

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3 comments to Almost There!

  • NtK

    I’m still depressed about Katrina, and I wasn’t even there. You will understand when I say that the books in my father’s house were like a 3d parent to me… things, to be sure, but imbued with great psychic energy. Snuffed out by greed and indifference.

    Between 9/11 and Katrina, I want my decade back.
    Dan (http://www NULL.dantheman NULL.com)

  • midnightferret (http://www NULL.midnightferret NULL.com)

    Yes, I always think of you especially when I am maundering on about Katrina.

  • caleb

    i know the feeling. we’re in the process of selling our house here in scenic idaho, having to move back to Suck-lahoma Shitty. actually, it’s not THAT bad there, but it’s less than OK. the stress of doing the online master’s thing, selling a house, getting ready to buy a house, having a sick 3yr old, plus having to work crazy hours… it all adds up. and for having a full-time job, i’ve been getting nickeled & dimed lately. going-away gifts for bosses & co-workers, forking over for beer & snacks for “mandatory fun” events.

    congrats on having your thesis out of the way & done, though! not sure what’s a bigger relief — that, or being free of Ruston/Tech. good luck w/the move! and stick w/the phD program, i know you’ll be happier in the long run.

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