Jan. 8th, 2009 11:04 am
arguchik: (Default)

Got Tetris?
pursuant to yesterday's post...

"jeez, why are you so down on yourself all the time? what are you, an idiot? be nice to yourself. don't you know that all this negativity is what's really slowing you down? grow some self-confidence, already..."

LOL. metaguilt. i am my own catholic mother.

down and out

Jun. 25th, 2007 12:39 pm
arguchik: (classroom)
i've been having a lot of trouble with motivation lately. i grapple with feelings of unworthiness and failure stemming from three basic things that i regularly tell myself. i'm going to list them out as a sort of therapy exercise for myself, because sometimes it helps to see one's ridiculous internal monologues written out. i've been writing about this stuff in my analog journal, and it doesn't seem to be working that well, so i thought a little burst of soul-baring in a public forum might help. please understand that these thoughts aren't my only thoughts. i have positive thoughts too, and i usually feel pretty optimistic about my future. these thoughts form a sort of background hum in my mind...feeding my fears and anxieties. i think my primary fear/anxiety grows out of all of these, though--and that is the fear that i will never earn a decent living, that i might actually be incapable of it.

ok, so here goes...the worst bits of my internal monologue...each of these is "me" talking to "myself" (a dramatization):

1. this spring marks my 6th year as a grad student at UW. i came in with an MA that took me 2 years to earn. this means i have been a graduate student for 8 years, and i'm not done yet. plus, i'm 40...and still a student. what the fuck is taking me so long? sobering facts: i'm old enough to be the mother of most of my students--without it having been a teen pregnancy. i've been a grad student long enough that some of my early students could have completed their own ph.d.'s in the time i've been working on mine. i'm too old to be relevant, creative, productive. i should just hang it up.

2. i know part of what has taken me so long. i got knocked off track about 4 years ago, and i've never quite gotten back on track. i got sucked into something...an organization...and i got more involved than i had time or energy for. it was a huge distraction. it took time away from my teaching work and my studies, and it stressed me out so much that i would get home at night and literally sit there staring at the wall for a couple of hours or more before finally falling asleep. from very early on in my involvement with this organization, i was constantly trying to set boundaries and stick to them, but i ended up scrapping them every time a crisis came up--and it seemed like there was always a new crisis. why did i let myself get so far off track? (this item spins off an adjunct: look at me, blaming everyone except myself for my failures... only children and the terminally irresponsible do that.)

3. if i really wanted this (where "this" = a ph.d. + an academic career), i wouldn't have gotten off track to begin with; i would have come in here blazing a super-focused path, and i never would have wavered for anything or anyone. but if i had wavered, it wouldn't have been so much, and i wouldn't be taking so long to get back on track. somewhere, deep down, i must realize that i don't have what it takes for this career--particularly the critical acuity and creativity it takes to develop and execute worthwhile research projects--as evidenced by my reluctance to commit fully to it.

and so it goes. it does sound ridiculous, typed out like that. i languished in this mental state for years when i was in my mid-20's, paralyzed and unable to move myself in the world. i successfully dragged myself out of it when i was about 29--it was hard and slow. i know i can kick it again, but i can't seem to find my moment of inertia, or the proper fulcrum for the lever that will get me going, this time.


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