So, my "house guest" is supposed to arrive today. He was going to arrive right about now, but I’ve just found out that he got a *very* late start, which will make us just a late to the show, which is annoying because…I had plans in Spokane. I had plans to be on time to the show. I specifically made plans around going to this g.d. show that will effect the surrounding weeks, and now its going to be all stressful and barely making it. Really, I don’t care and am totally flexible, but I do marvel at how much work it is to communicate and negotiate with other people. For me it seems monstrously time consuming. Seriously, weeks and weeks (months?) of this planning, and I’m still sitting here, day of, changing my plans yet again.
I go to this gal for massage, and it is so amazing. I’ve been going about twice a month. Grad student health insurance actually covers 80% of massage, a thrilling detail about my life that I speak of often. I just returned, and I feel so good, relaxed, tingly, balanced. I’m counting all of my favorite things in this town before I have to leave. I have one more year. Finding this great massage therapist is definitely one great thing about this place. It takes me a couple of years to discover the ins and outs of place. This area definitely has some good qualities, and absolutely strangle, freak-flag-flying, esoteric people to go along with it. I’m also looking forward to seeing my one great love who is coming to visit in mere days. Days! This rambling, high, massage induced post will end soon enough. But next I have yoga–a class that I take instead of teach, which feels like such a luxury. Is this is a charmed life, or what?
Trying. to. make. myself. work. on. the. diss.
I’m trying to buy a new bicycle. My main concern is that it fits me. The hand-me-down mountain bike I’ve been using for years is starting to get uncomfortable for my longer rides. So, the last few days have been spent bicycle shopping, which is exhausting and full of people who are way, way more serious about bicycling than I am. In fact, I don’t even like to test ride them because I don’t like people watching me wobble around and almost crash into things as I’m getting started.
Here are a few surprising discoveries n I’ve made along the way: I have some brand loyalty that I was not aware of. I have an emotional attachment to the mountain bike I’ve been riding for years, even though it does not fit me. I will pay a little extra so that my bike looks cool. Unfortunately, I will not pay that much extra.
I live very close to a paved bike trail. As the weather has improved, I have found myself wanting to start off the day with a bike ride, about 7 miles, then a break on a bench along the trail, then I return home and finish with a short but treacherous hill. Although I am not a savvy biker, this seems like a healthy habit that I should invest in. Much like the $142.50 I recently spent on yoga class. Like a boss.
All of my wildest dreams came true when I taught a weekend class that I designed called "Sexual Liberation and Abstinence in Popular Culture" for a Gender Studies program. In addition to teaching creative writing, gender studies and feminism (et al) is my true passion in my work life. All of my education and hard worked came to fruition in being paid to teach a class that I love. They say that you’re supposed to find a job that doesn’t feel like work (which is such a first world ideal, by the way). Last weekend did not feel like work. I was good at it. I felt like I had a positive impact on students’ lives. It was exhausting, but I was the good kind of tired at the end.
As a career, I have chosen to teach writing. I have pursued a degree in Rhetoric and Composition because it will allow me to teach writing at the college level. That is what I want to do. I want to also be able to teach creative writing and writing courses infused with Feminist or Marxist theory. I chose Rhet/Comp because, after about seven years in the field, it seemed that would be the most likely option for securing a job teaching writing in the region of the world that I want to live in. The compromise is that while I’ll likely get a job teach writing in someplace that is not North Carolina, I won’t get to talk about feminism 24/7. I think I’ve made the right choice. And along the way, hopefully I’ll get paid to teach more classes like I did last weekend.
Blargh. I am going to be working at this computer all day long. And into the night, no doubt.
I have this old boyfriend. Actually, I hesitate to even use the word "boyfriend" because the circumstances surrounding the relationship are so bizarre. There was one, nearly month long false start, followed by my heartbreak, which was then followed by me very, very gingerly recovering. Actually, I was recovering from a lot of things, I think–a culmination of love and life events that left me in serious need of time alone to recenter myself. After a year or two, he came back into my life, and our relationship continued via email and on the phone. We corresponded lovingly through the winter and arranged to meet in the spring at which point we met and had an amazing time. We were both moving away, and he, seemingly halfheartedly, invited me to run away with him and get married. At the time it seemed like the only option for us to be together. I’m not sure how we came up with such an extreme measure, but I remember thinking, This is the only thing that makes sense. I didn’t have the nerve to do it, and I left for the new teaching job I had secured. I never saw him again after that, but learned that he was reuniting with the woman with whom he had been with before me and that was that.
I don’t think about him much, but when I do, I find it to be quite…disorienting. I guess sometimes I like to wonder, What if? Mostly, I think it is my brain going into an easy default mode, but that doesn’t mean that I am not haunted by occasional dreams and memories of these past loves. Last night, for example. I had a dream that I was with him. We were all drinking at a brewery at the coast. I was there. He was there with his partner. Two mutual friends (another couple) were there (mostly his friends). It was exciting. There was good conversation. Finally, one of our friends from the couple, the man, a guy whom I always liked, took me aside, to a walk on the beach actually, and revealed to me that his friend, my former love, had never really gotten over me, that in moments of drunkenness gazing into outdoor fire pits, he frequently revealed his uncertainty about his choice. He frequently wondered what might have been with me. This revelation devastated me, and I spent the rest of the evening stealing glances with him and trying to sneak away with him for a conversation that would never happen.
This might seem obvious, but I am realizing that women in academia don’t necessarily have to be in relationships that are based on financial security. Since we, unlike most women everywhere, have the benefit of a fulfilling intellectual life that pays enough to support us comfortably, we can pick our partners based on other qualities, like primarily on their ability to stimulate us intellectually and sexually. The big difference with us is that they don’t have to be financially successful. Like I said, that might seem obvious, but I’ve been looking around at other women in my position, or women whose position I will soon be in, and many of them are married to men who don’t work or who work part time. These are not career oriented men. I also find myself attracted to these kinds of men. Whether or not they bring money to the table is not of concern to me. What concerns me is their ability to hold a conversation and whether or not I am sexually attracted to them. My old friends, friends with whom I attended high school, etc. have chosen relationships and partners that are very different than mine. Don’t get me wrong, they really seem to love and have a passion for their partners, but there is also a significant financial aspect to the relationship. It is one that serves both parties, but it is not one that would serve me anymore. In terms of relationships, I haven’t always been sure who to look for, not sure who to love. That was until I started to look to women who were actually like me, women who choose to pursue educations and/or careers and have enough power (intellectual, cultural, and financial) that they in no way need a partner to bring that power to the relationship. Incidentally, academics in the liberal arts also tend to disdain the constrains of capitalism, and so, while they could certainly make more money, they choose not. They have enough. Instead of looking at how I compare to all of my old friends and their relationships (and the inevitable confusion that comes with noticing how vastly different we have become), I’ve been looking at my new peers, my colleagues, and that has been a better model for me.