chaos is not becoming


Happy Leap Day!

It’s been a crazy week. All attempts to be productive were thwarted by personal and professional chaos. Actually both situations can’t be discussed in great detail because it’s best that I be discrete about them to some degree. The professional matter first: I’m a month from leaving the country for a year and a half’s worth of research. The first two months of this research is happening in what I will call “Global South country” followed by a year in London (followed by a few more months in Global South country) with a few weeks in between each phase. Certain bureaucratic matters have to happen before I leave. More accurately, these bureaucratic matters have to happen before I make plans to leave. The person in charge of these matters seems to be in no hurry to deal with this situation and, although I’ve been putting pressure on the designated go-between, there seems to be no motion, no urgency on this issue. I’m to the point now where it’s taken so long to deal with this issue that I might have to postpone my plans once again (which is such a bad result for so many reasons). Even if it does get resolved in time, I’ll have to scramble to get ready to leave, in effect rendering March useless for work. There’s nothing really that can be done to move this issue along more swiftly (at least not until the person in charge makes a decision on the matter) but meanwhile, even though the situation truly is out of my hands, my anxiety levels have been skyrocketing. I’ve staked so much of my emotional wellbeing on being able to leave the university (and the US) for a considerable period of time that the idea of these plans being altered, postponed, or worse is dreadful. Now I’m aware that perhaps I should be more happy here but I’m not. But aside from my personal motivations, I have a lot of sources to consult and I need to get going quickly if I have any hope of finishing in five years. As I said to some of my friends, in a month’s time, I’m supposed to be leaving the country for a year and a half, the longest stretch of time that I’ll be out of the country, and nothing is in place. I’m as close to leaving as I was five months ago and that’s scary and it’s the only thing I can think about. The better part of two days this week have been spent worrying about this problem and not working.

On the personal front, I’ll say even less. What I will say is that it’s sad to see a potentially decent romantic situation (or at least a pleasant diversion) go down the tubes because the guy in question has too much chaos in his life to be reliable, available, and reachable, particularly when we both still like each other. I’ve made the right decision and I know that. There’s been too much chaos, pain, and instability in my life for me to welcome in more of the same. But knowing I’ve made the best decision for my emotional health doesn’t make it any easier to be lonely.

I’m hoping next week will be calmer. Hopefully the bureaucratic matter will be resolved (if not, even more panic). There should be no out-of-the-blue phone calls from people expecting to have define-the-relationship talks, even though we haven’t talked in three weeks (see what I mean by unreliable?). I should just be able to get to work. A mildly productive weekend would help even more.


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