i have become involved with a very interesting new radio project. saturdays at 6 is an hour you might be particularly interested in. tucson time, of course.
work is sucking all my energy these days. kids are beautiful and i love them. i learn a lot from them and treasure the relationships that i have with them. but i am not cut out for the work week. i don't like forcing myself awake through caffeine every morning, i don't like how tired i am every night, i don't like it that my energy is primarily dedicated to my earning potential. it's a real drag. hopefully this is my last year doing work that drains me all day long, 5 days a week. i know most "work" is this way. but i'm convinced that there is balance out there and that i can find it somehow.
my future is still uncertain. so is everyone else's- but i'm still planless and will be planless probably until sometime in late spring. the choices are, in order of my preference:
1. stay in tucson and do my phd in geography here. i like tucson. i love a lot of people here and have found many who tolerate my awkward smart girlness and make me feel safe and loved. i have good community that i don't want to leave. also, academically- i like the department here a lot. there are good people doing interesting things and i feel like i'd fit in (as much as i fit in anywhere) and be able to do my thing and strike the energy balance that i am lacking at present.
2. move to kentucky and do my phd in geography there, at uk in lexington. i have a number of friends who already live there and so that's a huge plus. i like all those people a lot and would like to live near them. the department is pretty into radical thinking and supportive of abnormal ways of doing things. it would be a good fit for me. but- i really hate being cold and i don't want to leave tucson for all the reasons stated in option 1.
3. if i don't get funded, i won't be able to do either 1 or 2. that means i have to find a job and make some money. i am optimistic about this option, although it almost surely means i have to leave tucson. maybe there's something i could do here that would pay me enough to handle my student loan debt- but probably not. one cool idea i had was that i could look at working for an non governmental organization in the middle east and just have a big adventure out of the states for awhile. that's a totally nebulous idea that i haven't really investigated- but it could be cool. and maybe then i could be someplace where there are middle eastern anarchists and that could become part of my research/writing and i wouldn't be as sad to be out of school as i am now.
no matter what happens- my path lies in the anarchist movement. if i have to work a day job and continue that other, much more important, much more meaningful part of my life outside the parameters of "work," then i shall. it's a beautiful thing that is changing the world around us and i want everyone to know about it. academia is a pretty narrow and incestuous institution, so maybe that's just not the right place for me to be. the fact is- it's the only thing i've ever really seen myself doing or wanted to do. be in school for as long as possible, eventually be a professor, teach classes and continue my own research. summers off, occasional sabbatical semesters- it's not such a bad life, especially since one way or the other- "work" is going to be a constant part of my life.
now that you have the update on my potential future, here are a few big things on my mind of late:
1. intoxication holds me back but i'm not sure what to do with that yet. except to say that i'm really not into drinking alcohol at the moment and have become increasingly frustrated with the social impotence and apathy that accompanies our socialized urge to "party."
2. proprietary relationships with carefully defined rules and regulations are not for me, but it's really hard to break free of that conditioning. it's also really hard to strike up new relationships with people because everyone operates on the ownership/rules/regulations model. i find myself regularly in the company of men who see relationships in proprietary terms and who talk about women in ways that make me very uncomfortable. they make me feel like i am the object of some great conquest, but i'm not. i struggle to know how to deal with it. lately it's just been making me really angry. at the same time, i know that these men are just as confused and trapped in our repressive society as i am. just that they don't see how they could break free. i feel like i've broken free in my own mind- but that's only the beginning. the hardest part is talking about it with people in a healthy way. it's all very confusing.
3. i want to be back in school. i want to be back in school. i want to be back in school. maybe if i say it enough times it will come true.
4. months ago i felt like a giant hurricane swirling full of energy and motivation. today i am a pitifully powerless drizzling rainstorm. i'm working on that.
5. prison is ridiculous. did you know that the united states has 25% of the global prison population? it's pretty terrible that we live in a world where, when someone is naughty, we lock them up in a concrete box and expect that to fix things somehow. it's disgusting that the prison system exists. there are a lot of activists who work on prisoner support, which is great. but usually the focus is on supporting other anarchist/activists who are in prison. they definitely need our support and i'm glad that there is energy in that direction. on the other hand, the vast majority of people in prison are not activists or professed anarchists. there are many websites out there with lists of prisoners who want penpals from outside. this can be a very rewarding experience and i encourage you to consider writing to someone who is in prison. imagine if your life was spent in a concrete box. you'd want someone to write to you.
whoever you are, i hope you are doing well. sorry for my long silence here in the blogosphere. life has caught me up. all in all- things are flowing along. and i am always reminded that there are many people out in the world struggling just to survive. in comparison to the fortunes of many- my life is a paradise. my task is to never forget that or take it for granted.