It’s been pretty somber in the Fierce household this fall and winter. I would say I’m approaching burnout, but I know that boundary was crossed long ago. I’m fueled by sunk-cost fallacy at this point. I don’t want to be in school anymore, haven’t wanted to be for some time. Me doing something I absolutely loathe, day in and day out, can’t help but set the tone for how my partner feels, the household aura poisoned by my thinly veiled rage.
I’d already decided by the end of last academic year that I didn’t want to get a Ph. D. in sociology because of my inability to reconcile the exclusionary nature of academia with my belief in divesting as much as possible from structures that produce and perpetuate inequality. For a while I planned on getting an MFA so I could spend the next few years writing and not having to deal with the shambles of my finances. (I went back to school full-time after having been laid off in 2014, and I have a bunch of credit card debt that I haven’t been paying because we don’t have the money for both of us to have good credit.) But I don’t need to go to school to write, and I don’t need to buy further in to the lie that higher education is a means to break down structural barriers. Why go further into undischargeable debt? So I can assimilate into a system that would much rather I not participate in the first place, a system that will put up innumerable obstacles to ensure I only make it if I’ve proven myself exceptional? Nah. Being exceptional is the opposite of being free. (I still gotta convince my anxiety of this.)
Over the hot, depressed, miserable summer I even considered leaving UCLA without finishing my bachelor’s. After agonizing over it, taking into account how much work and sacrifice went into me being here not only on my part but on my family’s, I finally settled on just not giving a shit about grades anymore. I figured GPA means nothing when I’m 99.9999% sure I’m never going to want to set foot on a university campus again once I’m done with this degree. As a result, I’ve pulled back a lot when it comes to studying and reading. That freed up some time for me, but I’m so broke or anxious or depressed or exhausted or achy that I can’t enjoy it. Whenever I do something I want to do, something that would normally bring me joy, there’s this buzzing in the back of my head reminding me that I should be reading or working on some paper or whatever for school. Right now I have two final projects I need to start, and I’m writing this. Oops.
I tell myself that it is participating in a system I no longer believe in that is driving my mood instability, my fibro flares, my chronic IBS issues. But there’s a deeper truth that I elide with this narrative, the truth that the world–at least the man-made part of it–is in itself a system I no longer believe in. I still haven’t figured out how to live with that in a generative way, but I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life working on it. I still think things will get better for me once I get out of school. I also know there will be new struggles and obstacles to overcome.
In other news, I’ve been writing poetry and fiction, trying to improve so I can one day produce something publishable at the pro level. I have a lot of self-doubt about my writing skill. I’ve gotten over it to a certain extent when it comes to nonfiction, which I (inaccurately) see as “not creative”. When it comes to “creative writing”, though, I falter. I know good writing when I read it, but my feelings on my own writing are tied up in my doubt. Not to mention the mindfuck that is grandiosity in mania and self-loathing in depression. Meaning, when I read my writing while manic, I think it’s amazing, but when I read it while depressed, I think it’s straight trash. I’ve had walking depression for like, a year, so it’s been hard to accurately judge my work during that time. I’m trying to be generous and not force myself to write when I’m so depressed I hate everything I’ve ever produced, especially since I have to save some energy for my schoolwork.
On the theme of saving energy, I deleted all the social media apps from my phone, so if you’ve been trying to get my attention on Facebook or Instagram, I apologize (but I doubt my absence has been greatly missed since I wasn’t active much to begin with!). I can’t help looking at web Twitter every now and then, though. Hey, I also deleted the news app, so I gotta go somewhere to keep up with the latest political fuckery and the dankest memes.
Spiritually I haven’t had energy to do all the work I’d like to; I’ve mainly just been celebrating full moons and pulling tarot cards when I need direct messages from god. I haven’t been able to keep up with my studies on that front since I transferred from community college, to be quite honest. Haven’t been able to move my body regularly or eat the way I want to either. I’m sure the lack of psychic and physical nourishment is contributing to this pervasive feeling I have that I’m dying. Being in chronic pain doesn’t help that either! My “rational” mind tells me I’m not dying any faster than I was before I started school, but the way my body feels… it’s hard to dispel that belief. The fact that I’ve felt like I’m dying for the past year and I haven’t died yet is probably an indication that whatever I’m feeling, it’s not a result of my body being riddled with cancer or something. I am really looking forward to going back to my old doctors once I get a job with some decent insurance, though. (I’m especially looking forward to going back to acupuncture once I have a job.) I don’t have the energy to deal with all the obstacles Medi-Cal puts up to getting good care, but I do need to spend some time working through my issues with someone who is paid enough to act like they want to find a solution.
Anyway, this has gotten long and disjointed, and as I said, I should be working on finals. Will probably be on radio silence until spring break. Stay strong during this Mercury retrograde & assorted upheaval, y’all.
P.S. Happy tropical Aries, sidereal Pisces season in advance–my 39th birthday is in twenty days.