At Least I'm Not Lost

I had an interesting revelation last week. A couple, really. As a scrolled through my archives here, I noticed that the first time I mentioned being exhausted was way back on New Year's Eve, 2005. OK, so that's been going a while. Not constant, mind you, but percolating in the background perhaps. There was that amazing time between officially becoming head of the music department and becoming Dean (1 semester? 1 year? I can't remember) and that was really really good. Then I wrote last week that I'm lost. Then realized within a few hours that I was completely wrong. I'm not lost. I'm angry! It all made so much sense! I mean, I don't know why I'm angry, but at least I can recognize that the reason I get furiously indignant at every little email--even the most innocuous requests--is not because of the email itself but because I'm just flipping angry all the time.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. How did I figure this out? Well, I did something healthy. Stupid me! I went to the season premier of one of our favorite shows at a friend's house. We used to all watch this all together every week. That was fun. We eventually stopped going--got too big, no place to sit, times didn't work out, whatever. So it was nice to be re-invited and since we've been wanting to reconnect with people, I thought it good and healthy and a positive step to say yes. I was really, really wrong!

I think it started when I had to ask for an extension of the starting time because my evening doctoral class was going to go long (and by long, I mean the allotted time for the class, rather than ending early). Dave had already driven from midtown to home out in Cordova. Everyone readily agreed to wait. So that's good. And healthy. Then I iChatted my friend who I hadn't seen in a while to say that I was going to be happy to see her. Yay. Good. Healthy. We talked for a moment and then she said she was going to eat dinner (maybe 7pm). What's wrong with that? Unfortunately it made me realize that all the other folks who were going to be present at the TV viewing had already been home from work, had their comfy clothes on, had dinner, had a moment to talk through their day, and here Dave and I come, ragged, bedraggled, tired, hungry. I started to get mad but was not yet angry.

I got there around 9, was greeted and sat down and started the show. I spoke to almost no one--didn't have time, really--but a couple of our friends were really great to us and offered us chocolate and gave up their seats for us. How lovely. Healthy. Right?

Show's over, it's nearly 11pm, and we have to jet fast because it's a freaking 25 minute drive home. Now I'm really irritated. Scrounge for food, hit the sack, no life, no talking, no nothing.

Get up the next morning and in class less than 10 hours later. Now I'm angry. Seethingly, viscreally, frustratingly, dangerously angry. Went to Panera after class to chill and have breakfast. There sit normal people, living their lives. I hate them all. I feel my blood pressure skyrocket. I can feel the anger, turbulent in my chest. Why are all these people here? Why do they have free time? Why are they so relaxed?

I am so angry all the time. It shows itself in my blowups to Dave about students expecting me to solve their problems. It shows itself in my short temper. But I never ever let it show itself to other people.

Why am I so angry? I don't know yet, though I hope to someday. Here are my initial thoughts, as honest and raw as I know how to make them. I am angry because I work so damned hard all the time. I am angry because other people don't. I am angry because I don't feel like I have any choices. I am angry because for the past year, I've had to to only what other people tell me. I am angry because I have stopped doing things that I think are fun. I am angry because I feel taken advantage of. I am angry because I don't make more money. I am angry because I get a pay cut. I am angry because we can't live on just Dave's salary. I am angry because I have to solve everybody's problems. I am angry because my own life has been neglected for so long. I am angry because God chose this for me. I am angry because my life is not easy. I am angry because I am so damned nice to people that they don't know that anything is wrong with me. I am angry because there are no options for me but to keep doing these things over and over and over. I am angry because none of my friends have stuck with me. I am angry for paying such a high price for success. I am angry because I am angry.

Of course there are a thousand finer points in this. The reality is that I need some freedom and I need to re-establish myself. I have more to write but I'm out of gas at the moment. As I told Dave at the end of last week, I'd just like to have fun, cute, ballsy Shannon back. At least I'm not lost.