Angry and miserable, ignored and underpaid, but with a room of my own
Friday, Dec. 13, 2019 - 6:26 pm.

The good news first. Since Sunday night, we have finally moved into our apartment! We slept on the floor that night, but we did it gladly. No more fucking commuting for an hour to get to work on Monday morning.

The layout of the apartment is exactly as the one where we lived before moving to the UK, so it feels a bit like coming home. A part of us wanted to live somewhere else, somewhere new, but this is good. Living across the street from work is fucking priceless, and we also have everything we need within walking distance or a short bus ride. It feels so good, I can't begin to tell you. I feel so happy.

The downside is that this one apartment faces the street, a busy avenue. On Sunday afternoon we heard a car hit a stray dog (and then we saw the dog walk alway limping in pain). On Thursday afternoon we heard the police forces throwing tear gas at the students and breaking into campus. All this is awful, though it's not quite a complain regarding our living quarters. We're getting used to the car noises during the day, and the street goes quiet at night. I pretend it's the sea sometimes, and I swear parts of my stupid manuscript keep coming to life, and I haven't even submitted it anywhere.

We're sort of nesting, but we've had to buy everything (bed, kitchen, fridge, dining table, washing machine) so we ran out of our salary and we're paying our expenses with my savings. This is a relief, but it also fills me with anguish. I'm grateful I was able to save quite enough for years, but I hate how now this amount is always decreasing. I save for a couple of months and then I bleed money for double that time. There's always a fucking expense. It makes me angry. It makes me feel out of control, I guess.

Since I'm talking about negative emotional states, let's talk about the bad news. Well, it's not news. It's just that I'm angry, and exhausted at the stupidity of my job. Perhaps I said this last week, but I feel like any intellectual gain I had from my PhD, I've lost it these months of inane emails and reminders and dealing with people who cannot fucking read instructions nor answer simple questions.

(e.g. I send an email asking someone "can you please tell me what ID you entered in the survey so I can confirm you answered it" -SINCE YOU DIDN'T ENTER THE ID I GAVE YOU, WHICH WAS IN BOLD AND RED IN THE INSTRUCTIONS- and the moron woman's reply is "all set!").

You know what...I really don't feel like revisiting my anger. The week has been long and upsetting and dull at my job, that's all. I'm just desperate for the chance to do something meaningful.

Andrew and I share an office (it's quite nice actually, we're good coworkers as well as good spouses, and not everyone knows we're the latter), and one of these days I overheard him helping a couple of students. This same week, he ran into an old student of his who was now graduating from his master's. The student said to Andrew that he owed Andrew all he knew about statistics. Andrew got teary after we said goodbye to that student. What a nice thing to say, what a nice thing to hear.

Then I realized that's what I sorely need, and that I have never been able to do it properly: To learn something and to pass it on to someone else. I've done it in many small ways throughout my life, but I'm always either ignored, underpaid or both. I haven't learned many relevant things (other than how to find my way back around Chile) since I arrived from the UK in September. I see the need to make space in the city for invisible groups, such as child sexual abuse survivors or LGBTQ folks, but I have nothing to offer. I know some things but I have no space of my own to offer it as a safe place, no platform to be heard.

I just feel I'm being wasted. I'm becoming dumb. I have a few projects in sight, and I need to talk to some academics. But the holidays are approaching, and then my trip to my home country is approaching, so it's no use getting started right now.

I'm feeling angry and miserable. At least it's the weekend, at last, and to my boss' credit, she leaves me alone on weekends. I mean, that's just decency because my contract says 33 hours a week, but I'll take anything to keep me from raging at her. She does understand, I think, how frustrating my current role in her research project is.

This afternoon, Andrew and I went to a Christmas market. It is nowhere near the beauty of the Sheffield Christmas markets, but it was all right and there was some crafty, neat stuff. This is where I sorely say that it sucks to not have money. At least I was able to buy some gifts for my family. And also, there was a smaller market in campus this morning, and we got a scratcher for the cats.

Tomorrow, if all goes well, I'll have it all to myself and to the things that make up my happy place.

Then I have to go to a BBQ in another town on Sunday, but maybe I'll bail. We're meeting with two of Andrew's best friends from high school, a guy and a gal (they're not married to each other). I like his friends. The guy's funny, and the gal is too, plus she had the coolest Bowie shirt I'd ever seen when we met a few weeks ago. But when they get together, they spend most of their time reminiscing and catching up. Which is great! That's what friends do! It's just that I don't share their past so I...kind of get bored? Don't get me wrong, they talk about other things and I'm generously included in the conversation, I even ended up coming out to them. But I do feel that's not my place.

This is not a comment on them, just a comment on how much I need time to myself, I guess. I need to sit down and breathe, to collect my thoughts, to think of ways to do something useful and meaningful. I feel so dull and dumb and empty. I feel that just now we're winding down, after the whirlwind that we set in motion in August when we began to move out of the UK.

My dear UK. What have you done.

(I'm still in love with V, bi the way. I feel stupid for feeling so strongly over an acquaintance I met with twice, but my God, what a woman. My heart flutters when she likes my tweets, Jesus Fucking Christ. But after yesterday's elections, I just fear even more for her)

Anyway. We're in our apartment now. The stupid home store has had us waiting for our kitchen since Monday(!), but we're home. I have a room of my own, with desk and a window to the street. I'm grateful for it.

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