Friday, July 31, 2009

anxiety, doom, etc.

It looks, tentatively, like I'll have a full-time teaching job this coming academic year. It also looks like the CSU budget will be cut much more next year, so this could be my last year teaching philosophy.

In those circumstances, it's pretty difficult to avoid being terribly anxious. I get especially anxious in anticipation of something dreadful (as opposed to when it actually happens), when I have a pretty clear idea what that dreadful thing will be, when I can't control whether or how the dreadful thing will happen, and when those who do have that control I have good reason to suspect of working against me.

Let's run a quick check down this list, to see whether these conditions apply. Yes, yes, yes, hell yes.

Am I doomed? Experts disagree. I say I am. My loveliest says no.

I am easy to convince that I'm doomed. I have always been keen to conclude that I'm doomed. I've been right, in fairly serious ways, on a couple occasions.

So if I proceed to list a few of the many reasons I have to feel fortunate and rich in this lower-middle, working-class, renter's existence, it would be a transparently obvious effort to combat anxiety.

I am in love.

I am in a very loving, very supportive, creative, inspiring, passionate, steady long-term mate-ship. My love is a wonder to me, and the biggest wonder of all her wonders is that she loves me. I feel like that every single day.

I have been incredibly lucky to have the chance to do what I love for a living. Hardly anyone gets that chance. The only job I ever wanted other than teaching philosophy is being a rock star - and that seems unlikely at this point (people do start second careers, though).

I get to play guitars every day. I get to write songs, when I can. I get a lot of joy from that, and from music generally.

I am a really good cook. I've turned at least 3 people on to several foods that they previously either didn't like at all or would never think of eating, because I cook them just that well.

I am healthy. I'm relatively fit. I own three pairs of hot pink high-tops.

I can write. I have a PhD in philosophy, which I don't think can be revoked, so that has to count as both a lasting accomplishment and an opportunity I was lucky to have and take advantage of.

At this point, I'm not crazy, sick, homeless, or being shot at or tortured by anyone.

Okay then.

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