Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 - 9:52 pm.
This was quite an uneventful week, as I spent everyday from Sunday to Thursday holed up at home. All I'm doing is writing my thesis (yes, I do hear myself as overwhelmingly privileged and I'm grateful for it), so I don't need to go to the office. The office PC is more comfortable for certain tasks, but I make up for that in having no interruptions, no long lunch breaks, and not having to deal with occasional drama among colleagues.
On that last note, I have found myself sort of over with the socializing with fellow students. I still have ten months in the UK (Christ!), but I've given up on many on my hopes regarding my life here. I never quite managed to fit in anywhere, not in academia, not in LGBTQ spaces, not anywhere else. It's not entirely my fault, but I admit I'm socially inept, and I don't have any particular charm that would make me attractive to people. There isn't anybody waiting for me outside of the house.
Now, inside of the house, my life is a joy. I've spent most of this week not talking to anyone, but my evenings, nights, and mornings with Andrew are domestic bliss. This week, when he came home, we'd have a meal, watch TV, and catch up with each other's lives. We both work at the same office, just a few desks away from one another, so if I go work there, we have similar experiences throughout the day...although even then we still have stuff to talk about at the end of the day. We're just a great team. To me, he's my home, that's all. I love him so much.
Anyway, I left home yesterday afternoon for a friend's birthday celebration at the pub. Well, he's a friend's husband, and my friend is a Chilean PhD student. She's someone I get along really well with, though we don't see each other often. Well, we went to the pub, and only stayed for an hour. Chileans, or at least the ones living in this city, speak very loudly for my taste (for Andrew's taste, too, thankfully), and they're very energetic in their speech, which can be fun but also can get overwhelming quickly. They also display macho attitudes that I have no patience for, and when one of them seriously said to his friends that his wife was "being so docile today", and she was right there, I was done with the whole thing.
I left home today too, and went to the office, only because my friend Eric invited us to have lunch at his flat to test his new IKEA chairs. I thought I might as well get some work done if I'm paying the bus ticket to the city centre. At the office, I saw a banner that was half-covered because the drawing was allegedly a throwback to sexist 50s stereotypes, a cover-up which sparked a controversy from which I will stay away here. And then I received a nasty e-mail, addressed to all students and staff in the Psych department, from a second Human Flaming Bag of Dog Poo (not the one in my year, this one is, I think, from a year before), complaining about the "politically correct" name of the department's Christmas party. Him and the other Flaming Bag spent last year's Christmas party talking about eugenics in front of a Jewish student who'd already asked them to drop the subject. So there you go.
For the record, I'm skipping the Christmas party this year. I feel like my time is passing at the department, too. Too many new student faces I'm not interested in talking to. I feel it's a lot of emotional labor for me, going and engaging in shallow conversation with random people. I do have very good friends from the PhD, but I prefer to meet with them in a quieter context, to have some quality time. Luckily, Andrew feels the same way. Staying home and ordering sushi sounds like a great alternative to that party, regardless of its name (the name was fine, by the way).
Anyway, on the bus on our way to the office, Andrew and I discussed if we'd like to stay in the UK if we had the chance. My first years here, I was willing to bury my claws in British soil to prevent anyone from removing me from here. As time has gone by, I've given in to reality: things aren't looking too brightly for the country (and as immigrants, I'm afraid we'd have fewer guarantees), and Andrew kept saying we had to go back to Chile...which we do, it's on the scholarship agreement. And I could be more useful in Latin America than here, so OK. We shall go back. In the end, I thought, it's all good for me, as long as I don't back to my home country, and as long as I'm with Andrew.
Today, Andrew says that if we find the chance to stay here, we should stay. We might find a postdoc next year, which would buy us one or two more years here, while we figure out if we can stay permanently or simply return to Latin America as was the original plan (Chile is Andrew's home country, so while I think Chile's fine, he wants to avoid it the way I want to avoid my home country...within reason, as he acknowledges that his country is not the living hell mine is).
I love it here, for the most part. I love how nonlife-threatening it is to walk down the street, I love the countryside, I love the puns in the Metro newspaper, I love that it grows nice people like my friend Anna. Now, overseas, there's the appeal of me moving in an environment that is nastier yet it's my own, where I could do more things with my knowledge, and where I'm allowed to adopt a child. Actually, the chance of parenthood is my only true motivation to go back. Both countries do seem to be on the verge of economic and ideological misery so, hey, whichever country I end up in next November 30th, I'll win some and lose some.
And that is it for me this week. I had some moping around to do regarding an existential failure I'm experiencing, but I don't want to sound whiny or ungrateful. My life is wonderful, it's just that I'm not getting anything published, from my research or my fiction, and what I write is of no interest to anyone; all that has me feeling useless and my ego bleeding profusely. But I'll complain in detail some other day. Bye.
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