Saturday, October 30, 2010


I'm not looking for advice. I want to write this down mostly so I can start sorting it out and thinking about it. And start my mom worrying? Which is what will happen anyway (don't worry, Mom, I promise it will be ok).

I'm not happy with my program/life. I sort of like my classes and am sort of interested in my thesis (any energy I had for it was expended in the half-dozen frantic all-nighters I had to spend to get it to the point where it is: still unacceptable and a month past deadline) and haven't put the energy into my classes that they deserved and so I've kind of dreaded/sucked at teaching. But I was surviving. I have 2.5 courses (read: seminar papers) left and the thesis of course. My plan was to grin and bear it, get the thing done, etc.

But now I find myself facing another Monday morning entirely unprepared from my week of funeral-planning and in a sort of questionable emotional state. (Not that questionable. I am wearing Halloween colors today. I ran and showered and got myself up to campus. I also have only cried once--which might be all I need?) And suddenly I have the perfect reason (maybe excuse?) to drop out of my life. Who could fault me for taking November and December off to get my act together? Or for using this trauma as impetus for starting a life I want to be living?

I know we all have had this discussion and I'm not naive enough to assume that Somewhere Else a perfect life is waiting for me. I know that my demons live mostly in my brain and not at BYU (mostly). There's this great lyric from a Magnetic Fields song: "You won't be happy with me/but give me one more chance/you won't be happy anyway." Which is how I feel about everything in my life.

But. If I wanted to start over, now might be the time to do it. (And maybe I can do it without dropping out of my life. Though doesn't manual labor sound so appealing right now? Does anyone need a basement refurbished?)


  1. Such a tuning fork post for me! It resonated... Maybe that's why I went back to get a 2nd masters and to willingly submit myself to high school again. And at least you're turning to manual labor and not to mediocrity which was what was appealing to me at this stage. I do want to insert a caveat here and say that I still wake up sometimes thinking what the hell was I thinking but that's just so like me to do every so often. Good luck finding your rhythm - and I fully support you in making changes. Though I love the city, getting out of Provo was the best thing I could've done:)

  2. you know how i feel about quitting stuff...i'm totally for it. you should work for my uncle. he's a contractor with a temper, but because of him, all his daughters could literally build a house from the ground up if they had to (and they have). talk to leni about this.

    oh, and this is not's an order: stop telling me you're ok if you're not....that's silly.

  3. Ok,more non-advice. First of all you looked so lovely this week. Really. I wanted to tell you that all week, and it just never happened. Great hair, cute clothes, all good. Also, I totally look up to you and you inspire me in all kinds of ways. Truly. Also, while Jeremy was going to law school I worked and went to school at Boston University. Best experience ever! Ok, back to the point. I worked in the classical studies dept. as an admin. and my main responsibility was to look out for the PhD and master students. There is so much paperwork, and deadlines, and you know. So, I spent many hours conversing with these students particularly about their impending thesis. And I just want to throw out there I don't think any of them believed in or liked their topics by then end. They loathed them really. They did not want to spend one more second thinking about that stupid topic and they could not figure out why they picked it. Or even why they were in this program, or at that University. So there is that. And they all kind of sucked at teaching because they were too busy trying to finish those stupid thesis. And they were students with lives and trying to figure out how to afford another semester of rent. But I really believe if you should be a master at anything it should be this. Or maybe you already are. So, there is that. And lastly, I 100% support you in whatever you decide to do. I will add a basement on just for you!

  4. manual labor frequently sounds really appealing to me. yesterday made me think how much i missed having you and your excellent insights in my ward. i love you.

  5. I AM glad I finished my program, even though I hated it far more than half of the time.

    I also used to wonder if I would be just as miserable anywhere else, and the answer is: having tried the experiment, I can definitely say that I am much happier here, not-in-Provo, not in graduate school.

    And: I have had to learn to take the space to grieve. Multiple times. Just because I have a good day-- even a really, surprisingly good day-- doesn't mean that I'm not allowed to have a sad day thereafter. I KNOW this, in my head, but like I say, I've had to keep re-learning it.

    Much love to you. And confidence in you.