Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

My Photo
Location: United States

Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


(Note: To lift a phrase from our favorite anti-blogger academic, Ivan Tribble, this post should be filed under "Dank, Dark Depths of the Blogger's Tormented Soul." Should you not feel like spelunking today, I'd advise avoidance.)

This is the only day of the week I've been able to sleep in late. I've been exhausted since Monday, and you'd think this would be a blissful occasion. But not so.

I woke up from vivid dreams about trying to convince someone who both was and was not Stan that I loved him, all the while not being completely convinced myself. Because if I'd loved him enough, wouldn't I have prioritized him over my degree? Better yet, wouldn't I have found a way to be with him and still take my exams? Wouldn't I have worked harder to make it work?

This is miserable. I've been thinking that at least I'm not blaming myself for this, as I usually do--that I'd gotten over thinking that I'm somehow responsible for the demise of my relationships in some subtle way, even when it's my partner's actions that make things unworkable. Apparently, at least for some portion of my personality, that's not true. I'm angry that some part of me believes that my ambition is to blame. How completely repulsive.

Because, of course, my ambition--which has been very much worn down by my grad school experience anyway--was never the problem here. I was doing what I had to do to get through this degree, because I know it would break something in me not to finish and therefore would make me a very bad partner, among other things. God knows I didn't want to leave Stan behind: the last think in the world I wanted to do was to leave him in Ireland to come back to Big City, where I've never felt comfortable anyway. But I didn't have a choice if I was going to be a person worth being with, and we were just going to have to hold the line until we could be together. Stan knew and believed all these things, too. And it was Stan who let go of the line, not me.

Clearly, however, part of me doesn't buy it. Part of me thinks that I'm one big walking bundle of relational self-sabotage. And that means I'm not really moving on as quickly as I'd wanted. I know I should be gentle and understanding with myself, but I'm not. I'm angry and impatient: how much more of my life am I going to spend blaming myself for other people's behavior? Because not only does that make me unnecessarily unhappy, but I'm worried that this flaw may somehow be part of the reason why I'm alone again. Or maybe it's some other one of the constellation of my flaws. Or some or all of them taken together.

And see how that works? Because I'm right back at square one, blaming myself again.

I don't just find this ridiculous. I find it disgusting.

So, far from being rested after 10 hours of sleep, I'm just as badly off as ever: apparently, I was tossing and turning on my worn-out mattress for some time, because every muscle in my back aches. And I have a headache like you wouldn't believe.

Bleh. I need to hydrate, caffeinate, feed Mouse, and go do some research. To hell with this shit.