Wednesday, December 06, 2006
One Big Existential Mess
Oddly enough, I'm not feeling depressed or overwhelmed or down, any of those themes that I seem to fall into once in a while because just-plugging-along is so passe. I'm in a fine mood, looking forward to the holidays even though we already screwed up Sint Nikolaas Day and my mother-in-law is threatening to come out for Christmas. Kids are both healthy, though Jacob's on some sort of hunger strike, and Willem's current spate of crankiness and gloom should have an end in sight, since his semester ends next week and his first round of comps is scheduled for January.

So, we're okay. But I'm off. Dealing with a big steaming pile of existentialist musings about who I am, what I want to do with my life, what I want to do with my blog, and so on. I'm neither whining nor sniveling, honest - I'm okay with not knowing where I fit in here. It's more just a dawning awareness that I don't know, and maybe I should try and figure it out.

I can't think of any one trigger for this attack of vapidity. Several small ones just piled up. The big one, of course, is the psychology internship application abattoir and the fact that I was granted at least one interview this time around. So far, I've been rejected by one and offered an interview by another, with resounding silence from the other five sites I chose. This marks an improvement over last year's 100% across-the-board rejection, but then again it all depends on how you define "improvement."

The thing is, I'm not entirely sure I want an internship. It'll mean 5-day, 40-hour work weeks, and at least a 45-minute commute, and a heavy investment in a lifestyle I've been moving away from for the past two years. Willem and some of my close friends have adopted a stance of, "Oh, what a shame that you put so much work into school only to get stuck at the finish line. How unfair. How sad. You must be so disappointed." And, for a while, they were right. I was overwhelmingly, crushingly, wicked disappointed for about the first half of 2006. I'd never failed before, and clearly I'm not very good at it.

But I've had time and space to deal with it all, and I've come to a point where I'm okay with not completing my doctorate. Money down the drain, sure, but that's not as much a concern as it used to be. I have settled into a routine that I (mostly) like, though not working at all would be even better, and I do have long-term plans that include working with the mentally ill and aiming toward a prison setting, but I don't feel as consumed and defined by those plans anymore. If I can't work my dream job, I'm okay with that.

So. Interview, hooray, but who cares? How's about a little ambivalence mixed in with the apathy?

Then there's the blog thing, which is admittedly a far less pressing issue, except, well, I'm here now, aren't I?

One part of the blog-weirdness is, I was reviewed examined bantered about on a website yesterday. I don't remember signing myself up to be reviewed, but when I first started working I signed up for a bunch of blogrolls so I'd have some guidance in my aimless wanderings online while at work - so I probably registered there then. Not a big deal. I'd read the site, and saw my blog on their list, and thought about asking them to take me off their list after realizing that they have a severe, possibly fatal allergy to mommyblogs (not that I blame them) - and then decided I didn't care enough to bother and let it go.

So, yesterday, I start getting some hits from this website, and sure enough, I was reviewed. Their biggest problems with me seem to be that I have a mommyblog (which, admittedly, makes me squirrelly too, but those short people in my house do tend to suck up most of my energy these days) and that all of my blogrolls are about/for/comprised of women. Which apparently makes me sexist, and possibly creates a situation where I want to eradicate all of the testosterone from the blogosphere. Learn something new every day. Since they didn't (nor would I have expected them to) actually go into my own personal blogroll ("Clickworthy" over there -->) then they didn't see any evidence of male bloggers in my world. 'Sokay.

So that just had me take a minute, pause, reflect on how others see me, and be glad that I'm not embarrassed or insulted. I at least did better than the other two sites they reviewed that day, how's that for rampant vindication. (Oh yeah - and I use too many big words. Who knew?)

Edited to add: In rereading this, I sound more negative about it than I really feel. I thought it was interesting, and since I've watched them really tear into people before, I'm glad I didn't rate that low with them. Not a big deal, but for the timing/perspective.

Hard on the heels of that, I went home, and in chatting with Willem we briefly touched on the idea of him getting his own blog, or contributing to this one. And you know what? I realized that I would love to have him on here. I get tired of myself all the time, and I would love to have his input. A he-said/she-said, whatever. He's funny. You'd like him.

I don't know whether he actually will... technology makes him twitchy, and he thinks he's being cool by avoiding bandwagons like cell-phone-ownership and DVR-use... though, um, sweetheart... you have both. So, we'll see. It's intriguing, anyway.

So, there. That's what's been in my head, and now it's on a screen and, I hope, out of my head for a while. On to the next thing.