The Laursonian Institute

The Laursonian Institute

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I want to be able to relax completely.  I always think that this necessitates my doing nothing so that I can stop and think through all the things I put aside while I’m busy.  It turns out, thinking stresses me out because I spiral into goodness-knows-where and the enormity of life engulfs my good intentions.

Today is one of those days, even though I have been doing a fair amount of work and I’m feeling sorta busy.  I wish I knew how to vanquish my pessimism.  I know, logically so, that my life is good, and that everything will turn out fine in both the short and long term of it.  I remain consumed with a feeling of inadequacy and inevitable failure.  Failure in both hind- and foresight.  Trapped in this irreconcilable middle, feeling as though I’ve screwed up my life so far, and I’m certainly not strong enough to change my own behavior, so I’ll screw up my future in the same way.  I vacillate between the two – the knowledge that I’m doing well by myself and that I’m exceeding the expectations of 20-somethings as a whole, but that in my specific circumstances I’m a poorly performing graduate student with no vision and no promise for the future.  Part of my inner self knows that I’m well suited, like my mother, for a variety of mundane tasks – secretary stuff, administrative stuff, organizational stuff – and that sometimes makes me feel like I’m an office worker trapped in grad school.  As though getting this PhD is proving something irrelevant to myself, and that I’ll take my doctoral title and go back to making photocopies for somebody I find illogical or incapable in a company whose business philosophy is retarded at best.  Yet that I have some sort of quixotic martyrical desires and, while frustrating, this work would be fulfilling.  Somehow trying to make my own career in a subject I think is fascinating seems irresponsible, and that what I really need to be doing is settling down, having a steady job, and starting a family.

My aggravation with this thought pattern seeps into every little nook.  I seethe at my perception of peoples’ expectations of me.  I shy away from opportunities to make good impressions.  I ignore the work I know I have to do, because doing it at all seems like such a futile endeavor when I feel as though I’m just pretending to be some kind of promising academic.  I’ll end up selling everyone’s hopes up the river when they all figure out that the university job I’ve applied for is undergraduate advisor for some archeology department in Montana.  The office aide at some company you’ve never heard of in Tacoma.  I don’t see how I get from where I am – weirdly, sitting my house in California – to where I’m supposed to be, that doesn’t involve me moving to Auburn and getting a bullshit job.   What I’m saying is this:  where the hell am I supposed to even be?  What am I trying to accomplish?

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