While we were in Texas, the city I live in got ravaged by a winter storm. Almost a foot of snow got dumped on the metro area. So, in flying back from Texas, that is what H and I came home to.
I’ve had a hard time adjusting back to my daily life.
The hardest part is that I’m having trouble explaining these blues to H. I just can’t shake them, the feeling that getting out of bed is becoming pointless again. Why should I leave the house? There’s really no point.
It’s a good thing I’m not in college anymore, because then leaving the house could be as optional as I wanted it to be.
I don’t know what exactly brought this on. A lot of things were happening at once. I wanted to get out of this state so badly that I nearly started crying at the airport on the day we left because of the long line to check our bags. We did end up missing our flight, which shortened our vacation by about six hours. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, especially now that I’m home. Six hours would have never been enough.
I was happy for a week. There was sunshine, and I could wear tank tops and shorts again. There was a puppy who climbed on me like I was a jungle gym. I felt like my real life, the life that I sometimes still hate, was on hold. But coming back brought everything into sharp focus. And I’m unhappy with it all, still, even though H always tells me that I’m on the right track, that I’m on my way.
To say that my job isn’t satisfying is an understatement. That’s where it all begins and ends. I spend 44 hours a week here, another five on my commute. That’s 49 hours per week that I can’t get back. And what do I do here? What do I have to show for my four-year college degree in chemistry, a hard science? I’m a lab tech. Not only that, I work in the teaching labs, so I spend all day checking things in and out to students taking general chemistry lab classes. So. I spent four years in college to answer the question “What’s my assigned number?” fifty times a day.[i] How is that supposed to make me feel?
On top of that, I am in a Master’s program that is less than stimulating. I can’t say that I haven’t learned anything, because I definitely have. But I spend most of my days doing busy work and decidedly not learning. Add the frustration of working in groups in a distance-learning program[ii] and professors who don’t communicate as well as I think they should,[iii] and I seriously wonder if this is all going to be worth it in the end.
The list goes on and on. H hates his job too, so we both spend a decent percentage of our time together comparing how miserable we are at work. My car was designed for grandmas, and with all the damn snow we’ve gotten this year and the way my neighbor parks, I can hardly fit my gigantic boat of a car in my own driveway.
All of these things have been ongoing for months, but I can deal with all of it when it’s warm. But it’s been so cold for so long that I feel myself freezing. I feel myself hardening, turning into someone that I’m not, someone who snaps at everyone, someone who acts like an ungrateful jerk to all of the people I love. I hate myself for this, but I can’t stop. I can’t. I’m too cold. And I’m tired. Tired of trying to be warm, trying to be happy, trying to hold all of it inside of me. I need something more.
As of right now, there is no end in sight. It could still get better. Maybe. Or it could get worse. I could freeze to the point where I’m just a solid block of ice. I could get to the point where I’m so numb I can’t feel. I could start doing reckless things, stupid things, just for the sake of feeling something. Like threaten H with an ultimatum – it’s me or this frigid, God-forsaken place. It’s crossed my mind in the last several days, but I’ve held it in. I hope I can keep holding it in. I need to keep holding it in. For everyone’s sake, because I don’t know what he would choose.
“There’s gotta be something more. Gotta be more than this. I need a little less hard time. I need a little more bliss. I’m gonna take my chances, and in taking a chance, I might find what I’m looking for. There’s gotta be something more.” —Sugarland, “Something More”
[i] In case you’d like to know, each student is assigned a number for the purposes of checking out equipment from the stockroom, which is where I work. It could be the last day of the semester, but I will still get this question. Seriously.
[ii] This still baffles me. How the hell are we supposed to coordinate time with other people when we chose a distance-learning program specifically because we were unable to go to class every week? Oh, let’s all plan a time to Skype? Let’s send a million emails and get nowhere? Sure, that sounds like a great idea.
[iii] I’M IN A TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION PROGRAM. I would certainly think that the people teaching us would know to communicate.