On most days I am living the dream. Really. I’m the me that 17-year-old me always wanted to be. Honestly. Couldn’t be happier about the way things turned out, especially given how they were a year ago. That said: The worst part of three-job freelance life is being on “vacation” and yet still feeling, while working yet another 13-hour day, this baseline crippling panic that I am forgetting to do something, that one of the bajillion balls I have hurtling through the air is going to come crashing down, and then all of them will, and then I will realize this has all been the world’s most un-dreamlike dream and I am actually still just a failing academic, it’s actually March of 2013 and I’m getting ready to go on the “secondary market” and send out my dossiers, and what’s my Interfolio password again? Did I forget it? Did I?

Between clients, deadlines, events (some rather large; more on that soon), and a new thing cropping up every twenty seconds, I basically just live in constant terror of fucking up. As a result, one of the half-dozen stress-related health complications I developed while in Ohio is back. (And yes, I count thwacking myself in the eye with a giant rubber band stress-related, since I never would have found myself in “Full Body Challenge” if I hadn’t been stressed out to begin with.) I’ve been clenching the everloving fuck out of my jaw again, and as a result my already-bad TMJ (stand next to me when I yawn if you want to get really grossed out) has worsened, and I’ve developed, for the second time in as many years, a “sprained tooth” (long story, super dumb, very painful).

Some vacation, amirite?

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6 thoughts on “Face-Clenchy McGee

  1. Would you say that behind some of the stress is bereavement? Not just that coming from the recent very personal sadness you shared, very openly and honestly, but from the loss of all the students of an academic working life,,classes you had great plans for? Or is it more just gold old ‘Type A Personality’ syndrome?.

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    1. I think I just took on too much stuff. I’ve got a two sections of a course, some of which needs new prep; I’ve got at least one article to write a week, usually more; I’ve got twelve clients; I’m doing revisions on one book (which is very painful, as it’s an academic book) and writing the proposal for another (which is very stressful, because it’s a lot of work). I don’t know what else is underlying it all, but that’s a shit ton to do every day and I’m barely hanging on.

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  2. Not related to the post (fist pound over heart), but I dig your twitter feed as much as your entries! Anyhow, I am late to the Eric Jarosinski phenomenon but am inspired and strengthened by his decision to leave the academy. Leading by example, paving alternate routes. Would love for him to write about it; thanks for bringing him to my attention. Whoop! It was the dose of solidarity I needed this morning!

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  3. ….And….Rebecca, you need to schedule in a break for yourself. Se-riou-sly. Last minute killer travel deal to somewhere warm for the weekend. It’s not a luxury, but a health expense. Just do it.

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    1. Funny that you mention that, b/c tomorrow I am off on a three-day jaunt to my alma mater for a reunion of the 90s-era newspaper staff. I haven’t set foot at Vassar for more than an afternoon since 1998 and I am really, really looking forward to it. I get to see a lot of old friends and visit old haunts. Should be very fun.

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      1. That’s going to be quite the walk down memory lane…wow. Enjoy! Still, a) visiting an alma mater is NOT a vacation and b) NY state doesn’t quite make the cut as “sunny, warm, relaxing” spring destination!!. 😉 So get thee to sunny shores at some point this spring!! 🙂

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