Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 - 1:20 pm.
I've recovered from my meltdown last weekend. It was a silly thing, I know.
On Sunday afternoon, my friend Eric and I went to see "The miseducation of Cameron Post", which wrung me and drained the last bit of emotion I had left in me. I got to talk to Eric about what had happened, and I also talked to Andrew about it. I needed the latter specially, as he was involved in the situation that started my meltdown, i.e. us leaving the party on Saturday night and how inner turmoil ensued.
You know, I understand I may have some psychological scars. Perhaps I did suffer, or maybe it's just me re-elaborating now and finding grounds to think I did, but whatever the case, that part of my life is over. Furthermore, "life" has more than made up to me for any rough times I may have had regarding freedom to socialize, grow, and explore (or for any abuse I suspect happened in my childhood). And I don't blame my dad. He was very shitty in how he handled that part of my upbringing, but overall he and my mom did a good job, specially considering the socio-political context in which I was growing up.
New concerns have taken over this week: I am not good enough. I am inadequate.
Let me be specific, I have one foot in writing fiction and the other in academia, and I'm not succeeding in neither. I'm not mediocre, I think. I suppose I should just focus on one of those two fields and try to boost my skills and presence in it. Ugh, this is the "pick a side" demand in bisexuality brought to my livelihood.
I want two things: to be useful to society and to receive validation for what I do. I want my work to be seen, and to be seen as useful, and I want to be told it is well done, because hell, oftentimes it is. Maybe it's not outstanding, but I've seen worse work than mine in terms of ideas and execution of ideas on paper. I want to contribute somehow, and I'm not doing it.
In the upcoming weeks, the city will be filled with two festivals, one that joins arts and science, and the other a literary one. I'm lucky my PhD supervisor has a project participating in the first festival, so I'll be at a stall on art and well-being. It comes close to my PhD research, but it's not my work. I have a fellow PhD student who will command her own event. And I have fellow PhD students publishing, using social media to communicate their research, going to conferences, winning grants, having their research applied to real life. Here, I am a failure.
For the other festival, the literary one, I'm going to enter a short story contest. I'm going to fucking win, though this is just me humouring myself. I'll most likely go unnoticed, because I'm aware that things are not in reality as great as they seem in my head. But I have to keep trying, I want to keep trying. Plus, I surprised myself with the story. After one or two nights (nights are for fiction-related writing) of disorganization and sucky ideas, I got a nice draft rounded up by now. Here, I may also be a failure, but I won't know until the end of October.
It stung that the professor that I admire in the department, T, sent out an email to everyone in the department informing of the arts and science festival, naming the colleagues who would be taking part in it (including my supervisor. Yay because I work with him?). He makes my ego sting hard over how awesome he is and what a mediocre student I proved to be in the his module. He does a lot of interesting things in academia, with colleagues and the general public, and he makes me resent being an academic failure.
And it's not that I'm a bad academic! I'm smart, thorough, ethical, and sensible. I'm still useless, though, because I have a research but I don't do much with it. I know I'm partly to blame, because I'm mopping around instead of trying to go networking, and finding contacts, and applying for funding, and searching for conferences, and opening social media accounts just for my work. But I can't focus on two big academic tasks at once! More properly, I can't do so if one of those is writing a doctoral thesis, for which I have a deadline and my progress is meaningful but slow.
At the end of his email, the professor mentioned the literary festival, too. Because he's cool like that, involved in everything that stimulates one's existence. Just him mentioning that literary festival (which was all he did, really) made my ego sting again. I would have liked to get involved in that festival, too. I mean, I'm trying to, with the short story, but, you know...my research is about fiction! I am aware that I may have things to say, I just don't know what exactly, that hasn't been said before, anyway.
Silver linings with my writing:
One, I'VE BEEN FINALLY GRANTED THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF MY MANUSCRIPT! AF IS OFFICIALLY MINE. It'd be cool if the publishing house got back to me, because if they reject me, I can move on now with an Intellectual Property Certificate in hand.
Two, the text I wrote for the doctoral magazine of my uni should be out soon, maybe next week. I liked how it turned out, but when it's printed I can't to read my stuff. I'm not expecting it to make waves, though I admit I hope someone in the department notices it and circulates it. And I hope they think it's good. I know they won't think it's as good as I think it is.
Three...well, this isn't happening yet, nor I haven't gotten confirmation/exact date of when it's happening, but there's my article on bisexuality coming out (lol), too. I was told the culture magazine in which it is featured will be out in October, but this is in my home country, so that may mean April next year or never.
Four, I shall dedicate this afternoon to work on Brother #3's and my paper on sexual prejudice. Did I say the first version was rejected by a journal? It was, but that's ok, they had a point. We're reworking it and now it seems more modest but also more accurate.