Thursday, March 25, 2010


A friend wrote a post that inspired this endless, self-centered comment, so I thought I'd keep it here.

Discontent, I think is an apt word. I wonder, though, would that have come eventually? Now I feel old and jaded. I look back at my old self and her rose-colored glasses, how I willed them to stay put on my face. But does that come with age? Or is it just being grown-up? Knowing that there will always be something -- or someone -- missing?

I whinge on about having lost my passion, about being disillusioned, but sometimes I wonder if that's not an excuse for really diving into something again. Risking the rose-colored view, the hope, again.

Perhaps this new small city (where my friend will be moving soon) will hold the opportunity for feeling content professionally. This may sound terrible, but I wish I had been further along in my studies, in my career when everything screeched to a halt. Sometimes it feels like I don't have the wherewithal to get back on the horse and finish the final lap (or whatever metaphor fits) -- perhaps if I had been closer to the end, I could have limped on. Right now, it feels like I'm stuck on the ground, wondering how invested I am, and how much I'll waste if I just stay where I am, sitting in the dirt. Or, perhaps, where I can get from here.


Tash said...

Hey Sue. Sorry I've missed a few posts here.

As to the one at hand: I'm just wondering out loud here, but I also got really stuck in grad school. And this was BEFORE infertility, etc. I think a lot of people do. It's a real mental/time/life drain, and sometimes frankly I think it's easier to stick it out than it is to say, "I fucked up, I shouldn't be here, I don't want to do this" and switch gears. I'm wondering if you couldn't chat with a job counselor? Just about your interests in general, the type of person you are, what else is out there. I guess what I'm saying is that this dispassion, feeling stuck, not wanting to finish stuff may have nothing to do with the other bad thing. Nothing at all. And getting hung up on this can make you feel pretty damn small and shitty, other really bad thing notwithstanding.

I'll just say re: my body: I don't know that I've forgiven it really, I'm still rather at odds with it and will undoubtedly fight it for a few more years. But I have come to some sort of reckoning (I hesitate to call it acceptance, because I haven't -- you should see the small clothes I hang onto in some perverse thought that I'll ever get back in them) that it's what it is *now* and who knows. Maybe someday I'll like it again, maybe I'll hate it from here forever. We'll just see.

Thinking of you.

Beruriah said...

I wonder about the discontent too, coming eventually. A number of things have happened in the last 7 years to shoot down my faith in so much, the distrust of the world may have come from elsewhere anyway.

Tash has a point. I've known many who reached the point of realizing they didn't want to do it anymore, without any tragedy. But you also know I empathize with your wish that you'd been further. I really held on tight to the feeling that I was far along in not just grad school, but the dissertation, to keep going. Do you think that helped C as well, or would he have held onto his passion regardless?

As for Foucault, mentioned below, well, he goes over best for me with an intoxicant of some kind.

niobe said...

I think there's something to the idea that the more variables that get introduced into your life, the harder it is. Like if you're trying to deal with questions and issues about about, for example, career AND marriage AND baby AND house (or some subset of those), it's really pretty much impossible not to feel like you don't know where you're going.

k@lakly said...

I can't imagine NOT feeling stuck. You are in the throws of just about every major life decision we make as adults, besides the marriage one. And life, being the bitch she can be, has made everything that much more riddled with variables for you.
I like the idea of stepping back and reexamining. Maybe now you need to take on only one at a time, if that's possible. And as Tash said, talking with a counselor of the career sort might be a great way to open up some new choices that you hadn't thought about before.

And man, don't even get me started on the whole body love/hate relationship. ewww.

Siri said...

FWIW, your post reminded me of the training I recently had on the new MMPI (no, I don't think you're crazy). But one of the new scales is Demoralization (discontent), read: How much are you hurting because of the various problems in your life? And another new subscale is Cynicism--it doesn't mean being mature, or the scales having fallen from your eyes, but it means having a difficulty integrating hardship into your life in such a way that growth is stymied. Sounds like "stuck." (Rhymes with, well, you know.) But given the last words of your post, I don't think you're as stuck as you're afraid you are. When you wonder, you look around from where you are and imagine how things might be different. That's the start....

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