Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm not paying attention

I've been trying to blog for the past week. I keep opening windows and closing windows, and writing sentences and deleting sentences. Sometimes just fragments.

"Fragments" is precisely what I'm experiencing right now. All of these pieces of my life, and I have this nagging feeling that they all fit together, they're all what my life really is right now, but I can't pull them together. I can't bring them into focus at the same time.

Exhibit A. Puzzle piece A. The graduate students are coming back to NU. I know that I'm a grad student, but really I'm not. I'm a staff member who is getting a graduate degree. My life is 9 to 5 work, and then, every once in a while, 7 to 9:30 pm poetry. And I'm happiest then, I'm who I am then, and yet--I'm good at my job. Good enough that I forget that I write poetry and I get pulled into the numbers. One of the new grad students in the branch asked me if I was bored during the summer break before classes started. I couldn't even process that--I work full time. Who has time to be bored?

I am so bored. I am impatient. I have one year left. One year to write my thesis and apply to PhD programs and graduate and go to another school. Be a real live grad student again. And in the meantime, until classes start and I can get that rush of writing and talking about writing and even a little bit of teaching, I am bored and distracted and not sure what to do with myself.

I met a very nice young man at church on Sunday. He's coming to NU for grad school. I told him that I'm a grad student, MFA poetry. He said, and I quote, "Good for you."

What the hell?

I'm annoyed with him, but I'm also annoyed with me. Because even after his condescension, I kept chatting and trying to be slightly charming. Because he was another grad student, because he was a real grad student. Because they are few and far between in the great Chicagoland. Because I knew once he met the other girls/women in the branch, I would just be "that other person in the branch at NU." Because I've come to expect invisibility from myself. Because I expect you not to see me. Because I'm convinced if you do, you won't like what you see.

I am giving it all up. This year is just a year. I'm going to write my thesis, I'm going to apply to grad school, I'm going to tough it out one more year. My great girl friends out here will continue to be great girl friends, but I'm all set. By this time next year, I'll be blogging from Denver or Ohio or Utah or. . . well, Chicago, if I decide on UIC. But this phase will be over and out.

Yeah, I don't believe me either.


Marie said...

You said what I'm feeling in a much better way than I could've said it.

Lekili said...

Give yourself the credit you--the independent, brilliant, determined, beautiful woman--you deserve. Dang straight I believe it. You always get it done--no matter how hard it is. Every day you are getting closer to your ultimate goal.

Saule Cogneur said...

I don't believe in prophecy either, but I sometimes believe in hope.

I will hope for you.

ptstand said...

I believe you Sarah,and I believe in you, as well. You will do it. I second everything your mother said.
You have accomplished so much, against formidable odds, and you won't stop until you have achieved what it is that you most desire.

TM3 said...

You're a hell of a writer for being invisible. That's all I got.


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