According to my brilliant doctor sister-in-law, my anxiety over the future is what the medical community might call “subacute.” Besides the fact that I love having a new term to label it by, I also thought it was an apt description.
From what I understand (in my limited capacity for medical terminology) an “acute” problem is immediate and at the initial stages of an infection or disease. That problem becomes “subacute” when it lingers longer than expected and is no longer an immediate threat, but it still looms in the background.
So although I’ve been increasingly anxious about finding a job and my lack of a concrete plan for the future, it is subacute because I actually do have a plan for the next month and half. Acutely, I will be leaving Albuquerque in five days, driving home to San Diego, spending a few days packing, flying to Chicago, catching a ride to Ohio for my friend’s wedding, then flying out the next day to spend a full month in Norway and Sweden (which has it’s own crazy itinerary).
These do count as concrete plans, but I think their haphazard nature reduces my feeling of security, which then makes the unplanned stretch afterwards feel urgent with anxiety. On top of that, the news never ceases to distress me further with depressing stories about the injustice and racism in Ferguson, our never-ending interference in the Middle East, and the death of Robin Williams (oh captain my captain!).
I am working on accepting that this is simply a condition of a broken world and the trials of post-grad life. Packaged together they make one disturbing couple. I wrote about this at the beginning of the summer (here), but now that my time off is coming to an end it is hard to maintain a posture of hope and relaxation. I like having plans, but my future is out of my control for the time being (unless you can find someone willing to hire a person who can’t start till October).
Post-grad is teaching me how to focus on the acute part of life, enjoying whatever is right in front of me and letting the future unfold on its own. Unfortunately, I’m a rather obstinate student who doesn’t approve of the current teaching methods. Eventually, hopefully, I will get over it.
Until then, I have a couple of funsie items (the word “funsie” is courtesy of a favorite professor of mine) planned for the blog to close out the summer before I take my hiatus to Scandinavia. First, since this week is my last in Albuquerque, I will be doing a New Mexico recap. Tune in for the variety of oddities I’ve found in this strange, strange place. This is the (tentative) plan:
Monday 8/18 – The City of Albuquerque: Restaurants, Activities, and the Unexplained
Tuesday 8/19 – Albuquerque’s Landscape: The Sandias, the desert, and monsoons
Thursday 8/21 – National Parks and Monuments: Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, The Petroglyphs
Friday 8/22 – Concluding Thanks and Goodbyes
After that, probably not the next week but maybe the week after, I am planning a Book Week to report on and discuss all the books I’ve read this year (see the page 2014 Reading List for a preview). More details on that coming soon.
Lacking confidence, like many other writers and post-graduate students, I never cease to question what the point of this blog is or why I should bother to continue writing on it. Nonetheless, I continue. Perhaps the reason is related to the lack of consistency in my life right now, and this blog is one of the few things I can control. Another reason is that I can’t deny my desire to write, even if no one is reading it. We all have our own methods of adjusting to change and the outlet that helps us to re-center. Mine is writing. It is an acute part of my life, regardless of the other subacute things going on. We all deserve such an outlet, I’d love to hear about what yours is. In the meantime, if you do bother to read these things I write, I hope you know I appreciate your presence.
Sometimes you just need to take life one day at a time. I’m not always good at it, but maybe one day that won’t be the case.