This week has been...interesting. I felt like I'd been slammed with a two by four. By yesterday afternoon, walking home from the bus stop in the 5 o'clock dark, I was so stressed I had a little bit of a breakdown. Breakdown is probably too strong a word. But, it's worth noting that I haven't been able to cry for months - this is one of the ways in which I have become completely emotionally detached and estranged from myseld. And since I let loose with massive, wracking sobs on the snowy street...seemingly out of nowhere...a little breakdown in my everyday actually seems like an appropriate description.
I cried really hard. And then I was basically okay. Was pulled together by some seemingly invisible hand. The suddenness and randomness of this felt freaky, to me. It was like for twenty minutes, I slipped through a black hole that opened onto a terrifying, true world. That truth being the utter emptiness of me. I thought of how Maggie said, in a comment to a recent post, that her therapist speaks of moments when your soul is talking to you. I like that formulation. It is the best way to describe what happened yesterday.
The scary truth I was encountering? It's that right now, I don't care. And this me who doesn't care is not someone I've ever seen, and she scares me, and yet I can't help but wonder - constantly, these days - if she is really me.
I try to hold on to the fact that I have cared. That I do this job well. That I saw five - five - of last year's students over my time in Home City. Because they like me, because I made a difference in their lives, because they keep in touch with me, and ask to have dinner or tea or "watch Margaret Cho videos" with me when they know I'm going to be in town. I try to hold on to the fact that I am - or have been - gifted at this work, somehow. That I came back to Scary City/Uni and found a card from one of my fall students slipped under my office door, which said, "Your class was great but the reverberations will be even greater." That should be enough, all of that. It should be enough to make me care. But I can't - and that's very alienating.
Y'all don't need to respond to this...it's not necessary to affirm me or anything. I just like this forum for working stuff out, and I feel as if a lot is being worked out right now, so I feel like putting it here. I have many thoughts on this, as well, that I do feel are relevant to larger questions about gender and about the academy - and not as self-indulgent as this. But I just wanted to say, you know?