I'm certain enough
Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 - 12:47 pm.

I'm writing on Friday because I realized my work contract says I work 33 hours per week. I've done my time this week! I felt very happy doing so, writing and revising papers to be submitted to scientific journals. That horrible task of calling over 400 people to recruit them for a study has been passed on to an undergrad student who, thank God, enjoys talking to people over the phone. God bless individual differences.

I was going to pay her from my own pocket, as my boss' grant did not cover an assistant for an assistant. However, she managed to get funding to hire the student from another source! It's a handsome check for an undergrad's first job, too, which makes me happy both for her and for my finances. I'm relieved academia still comes through with just pay sometimes.

Besides that, life's gone through the cracks of long commuting times and occasional social engagements. I can't wait to move out of this faraway village, but then I realize Andrew and I don't have any certainty about what comes after December for us. We're thinking about renting something in this city, but we still want to apply for a job in another region, for which we'd know results in December.

I'll also get the results of my research grant application in January-February. For this grant, I need a sponsor university. That is any university I'm working for, but then again, my boss/sponsor researcher is at my current one. She knows I'm looking for something more stable, but it'd be lame if I took my research somewhere else after we've been talking for years of working together like this.

THEN AGAIN, like I said: she knows I need something more stable. And my research is, well, mine. I'm sure she understands this, cognitively, but I have to talk to her to know we are on the same page. I'm grateful for all she's taught me and I don't want to blindside her. University/academia/research politics suck.

Speaking of which, yesterday we met with Andrew's friends who work at uni (all of them, at some point, his coworkers). The evening was mostly about one of these friends who that day had been promoted temporarily... because the man in this very powerful position the friend was being promoted to, was accused of long-term sexual harassment by his own secretary. I spent the evening with a stomachache just thinking about the case. I mean, we did have a lovely evening, but the whole thing left me feeling triggered.

Ugh, let's change subject.

I got a short piece published on my first university's website (the one in my home country) about World Mental Health Day. It's always underwhelming, though, getting published. I also got angry because weeks ago, I wrote another piece about mental health in my country, in that digital newspaper, and it had like 1500 views. This newspaper then published a piece by a woman who's not even a psychologist, who also wrote about mental health, but by saying that we were all (everyone in the country) "mentally ill", and hers had almost 9000 views by the time I checked.

I wanted to kick things when I found that out. I KNOW ABOUT THIS STUFF, FUCKING LISTEN TO ME. But people love the easy label, so let's go ahead and stigmatize everyone in this violent country, specially those who live in perpetual fear of getting murdered on their way to school or work (also at home if you're a woman).

Fucking hell. I wanted to cry out of rage.

My pieces get a few likes and shares and retweets, and the end. For all the time I spent wishing I got published and writing pieces to that end, once the piece is out, I quickly forget about it because people don't pay much attention to it. I re-post on occasion, of course, and so do others. To be fair, though, I feel both cursed and blessed by how irrelevant I am. I mean, on the bright side, no one harasses me.

Plans for the weekend: I have to go see the in-laws with Andrew, most of our Sunday will go towards that. I also have to plan whether I'll go to my home country in January to see my parents and siblings... I should, I want to, except that first I need to renew my passport (which requires traveling 800 Km to the capital) AND we'd be moving by then. Andrew says go, though, he says he can handle moving and for sure will get some helping hands. For now, the plan is that I'm going.

OK! It's time for lunch, and then I get to have the afternoon to continue rewriting my manuscript, for the Nth time. It's just a very stupid, pointless story, I'm sure it's not worth all these work and all these years, but I can't just let it die. Simeon is my happy place, that's it. It's just that it probably needs some refurbishing by now.

Last but definitely not least: Before writing this entry, I submitted a form to adopt a child. No, it's a form to be contacted by a social worker and get the adoption process started. Andrew and I want to, so much. It takes at least about a year to adopt a child, if all goes well, so we might as well start now, even if we're in a period of existential uncertainty. Aren't we always?

I can't wait to read "Little People, Big Dreams: David Bowie" to my kid.

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