What I Want for My Birthday

April 13, 2009

So today is my 34th birthday.


Usually I’m a big old birthday-slut.  I want you to be nice to me, and wish me well, and maybe surprise me with something thoughtful, even though I feel kinda stupid announcing it.  This year, however, is different.

33 was not an especially good year for me, and while I am in some ways glad to put it behind me, I’m not terribly looking forward to what 34 seems to be offering:  more of the same.

Of course, one can never know what the future holds (as Benjamin notes, the Angel of History always faces the past), but what it appears to hold is unemployment, debt, and facing up my failure, which I’ve been holding at arm’s-length for the last four-to-six months.

I’m hoping the rhymes-with-smell-shoe-chin will help me with that facing-up.  The first day was a total emotional trainwreck (which happened to coincide with my blowing off a deadline that will simply make getting back on track–should I decide to do so–even more of a slog, but subsequently has improved to mere whippiness.

Once I level out (I’m hoping I level out), as hard as it will be, I must plan a have-it-out meeting with my chair, and let him know where I am vis-a-vis the process both intellectually and emotionally (which is:  resentful, burnt-out, and with little hope for change–in the market, in my attitude and prospects), and listen, as I have so many times in the last few years, to his advice.  I can’t believe that I would be the first flame-out he’s seen in his at-least-45-year career, and I ‘m hoping that he can offer some hint of clarity that I’ve been so in need of.


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