Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm Back!!!

I can't stand it. I must come back to Absurdist Paradise! I still read blogs and love them. I love the sense of community when I blog. So why I haven't been blogging? One issue is time -- I'm exhausted already, always feeling like I'm doing less than I need to and way more than I can handle. Another issue is that. . .I'm not sure I'll describe it well. . .I haven't felt like I have much of a sense of self to put out into the world. I'm sure part of this is exhaustion. I certainly haven't been writing much of anything else either except what I have to (i.e. teaching stuff). But there's something about not feeling presentable and faking my way through that makes me feel quiet and like I should shut up. Or maybe that's not exactly right either. I don't know. Finally, I'm sure I'll put my foot in my mouth. Just today when I told Absurdist Lover that I wanted to go back to blogging, he said to be careful. Anyone who knows me knows I put my foot in my mouth and don't stop swallowing until I've chomped down to my thigh.

I have to admit that one of the reasons why I want to come back to blogging is terrible and self-serving: today, I read one of my own posts and found myself. . .well, much more entertaining than I am right now. (Okay, so I found my hateful dissertating self frigging hilarious. I can't believe I had all that time to waste all the time. I didn't know then what a luxury it was. But then, it's not a luxury when you're just waiting for it to pass. Now, I'd love a whole day, even a couple hours, when I could just futz and read and not be on baby patrol. Doesn't that make me sound like I'm a terrible mother? I LOVE Absurdist Baby, but man I'd really like some time to rediscover me. I'd like to go to a very nice hotel room and read. . .anything I want!)

Something about blogging helped me to resee my life in a more humorous light all these years. I think I need that now. I mean really -- what's more ridiculous than moving to a new town and starting a tenure-track job with no money, no childcare, no family or friends in the area, and a partner who really doesn't want to be staying at home with Absurdist Baby, despite that Absurdist Baby is also pretty frigging hilarious, but is. We don't go anywhere or see anyone, and we practically don't notice because with the baby we'd never have time to see friends or anything anyway. So I go to work and bust my butt (really, I've never worked quite this hard on teaching and felt like I still wasn't measuring up), respond to and grade papers, meet with students, and generally drive myself insane, then go home exhausted but feeling terrible that Absurdist Lover has been home with the baby so I should take care of the baby -- and then I'm super-exhausted, especially on the days recently when AB just is a terror about going to bed.

Side note: I'm an idiot mother. The only way that AB goes to sleep is by breastfeeding (actually eating, because he sleeps with a bottle, I think, when I'm at work). This is not conducive to getting a baby to go to bed when you want him to. So most of the time, it works and my only real worry is whether I'm going to wake him up on the long trek from the couch to his crib. But if he wakes up and starts to cry, well, I'm a wimp and can't listen to his blood-curdling screams for longer than ten minutes before I go and pick him up and try again. I know AL is always waiting for the day when I'll just let him "cry it out," but maybe I'm reading the wrong books or something, but all of them (okay, the big purple one) says not to let them cry it out -- that this is actually traumatic for them. All I know is listening to AB's blood-curdling screams is traumatic for me. This is what I mean by being an idiot mother.

Okay, back to the subject of blogging: so I started the blog in the other place and got some of you intrigued enough to ask me the password -- but it's too hard. I can't make the transition. I need to be here at the old haunt. Maybe only for a while. Maybe because my life is so different from what it was when I used to blog in earnest (ha ha) that I need to be here to stay in touch with who I was. Of course, I probably have no readers left. But we'll see how it goes. I need an outlet. And I need to talk with y'all who've all been through being a first-year tenure-tracker or want to. I need to hang out with my peeps! Maybe it's just this quarter or maybe it's my department or maybe it's just that teaching swallows everyone alive their first term, but I feel pretty darn alone at work walking back and forth from classroom to bathroom to my little cell. (See? Now doesn't that make it seem more monastic and cozy?) Also, at least right now, there doesn't seem to be much of a culture around talking about the things that interest me, though I am now on a committee and soon will be talking about something. I'm sure it doesn't help that I don't go to lunch in the Cafeteria (too expensive, too many students, too much work to do) and chance upon people from the other departments. Boice would kick my butt. Of course, I also don't get any research work done either -- both Boice and the Provost would bust me on that one. My Chair though told me to expect that teaching would swallow me alive. Oh how it is. I haven't even worked on my Professional Development Plan except in late night fits and starts.

Have I mentioned that the first time I used my breast pump in my office a guy replacing the phone nearly walked in on me? In my locked office? Sigh. But nothing like that has happened since. These are the jewels of my life I need to share. All the ridiculousness, all the puzzles. Two and a half years ago, I decided I was going undercover to record the hilarity and silliness of MLA, which quickly grew into blogging the aggravation of dissertating and developing a network of people whose support and guidance I swear made dissertating much more fun. Now I'm going back undercover to bring you the nitty-gritty of academic life, the implausibility of balance, the hilarity and exasperations of new motherhood. We'll see where we end up.

Thanks for reading.


Thoroughly Educated said...

Oh yay! Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

yay!! i'm so happy to have my formerly similarly hate filled dissertating friend back! i have missed you!!

Ianqui said...

Welcome back. I just wanted to say 2 things: (1) every relatively new mother wants to escape to a hotel room for an entire day and do nothing but read or watch movies or eat chocolate bars. Don't sweat it. (2) The first year of teaching sucks no matter who you are and what field you're in. Just keep in mind that in another year or two, hopefully you'll be teaching the same courses again, and things will be a lot easier.

Meagan said...

Glad to see you back!

Earnest English said...

You have no idea how wonderful it was to check in on the blog throughout an exasperating day to see y'all here! Hi my friends!

Ianqui: chocolate bars! Yes! Excellent!