Smile and wave, boys.
Friday, Jul. 22, 2022 - 8:04 pm.

It's been a horrible week, work-wise. I never intended to get into this disastrous hamster wheel. My work style is having sufficient time and information to do it right before the deadline, but apparently that's not a thing in academia.

My jaw, my head, my neck are destroyed with stress, frustration, and anger... but hey, I've learned to listen to my body! I'm not being ironic. Therapy, my jaw treatment and this book I'm reading, "the body keeps the score" are making me be more mindful of my stress, and of my permanent flight/fight/freeze response (what the fuck?). I'm more aware of the things my body is going through, and even though I have no control over my environment right now, I can make sure I take care of it by letting it breathe, in more than one way.

I don't think I want to go over the double application I've been working on, because I'd realize what a shit show it's all been and I'd probably quit the whole process. I mean, I REALIZE it is a shit show. But telling me to go do something else with my life at this stage is like telling a depressed person to cheer up. I do like what I do for a living. These applications are supposed to help me keep doing what I like.

The problem, as I said earlier, is that there are deadlines. And it turns out, you only find out about them the day before. Or you write a full application for a week with conducting research in mind, but then today, Friday before uni goes on a week-long recess and you fuck off to that hell hole that is your country, the head of the Psych Department appears and demands you rewrite your application with teaching in mind.

Furthermore, they claim they supported your going away to get your PhD in the UK (you didn't support squat), and that the plan all along has been that you'll get a post in the Psych Department (bullshit). But you nod in silence, like the penguins from Madagascar: "smile and wave, boys".

And now I have to rewrite my application to divide my time between research and teaching. Also, the directors of the two units I'd join if I win this grant (a grant from the government for my uni to hire me as an academic, because uni is cheap with their workforce) are always at odds with one another. One's pro-research, one's pro-teaching, so doing one or the other thing makes you mediocre. It's not a great work environment once you start digging into this shit, and here I am digging *myself* into it. All because I like learning about queer crap.

Oh, and everything's so badly organized that I have the psych evaluation for the uni post (the uni post is what allows me to apply to the government grant) tomorrow morning. Saturday morning. Peachy. I'll even have to work next week at home. Recess my ass. Fuck you, uni.

I'll smile and wave, write something else next week, and I'll be OK if I don't win.

Anyway, I do intend to have a life outside of work. I drown more in anger at the informalities of this paperwork, than in paperwork itself. I've been packing, spending time with Andrew (we went on a cute little date on Tuesday), making plans with friends and family once I'm there in my home country. I haven't quite registered that I'm going, I do wish to not fret about the trip too much.

I'm seeing Helen, yes. Poor woman thought it wise for her to travel to our home country too, just so she could see me. I like her a lot, I want to spend time with her, but I think I ended up all burned out from my relationship with her. On top of being burned out from other things. She continues to be an amazing human being to me, but I often feel I'm not able to give her much in return.

Also, wish me luck on this one but I intend on not having physical relations with her this time. First and foremost, because I didn't get consent from Andrew (didn't even ask, for like, three reasons), and second, because it feels it binds her and me even more. And at this point, I don't have the emotional broadband to have any relationship besides a friendship. Which I'd say is plenty! People are always playing friendship like a consolation prize, when truly, it is something I could use more of right now.

Gotta go finish packing and order some food before Andrew returns. We were gonna have our usual Friday Night In, but a friend's dad needed blood and Andrew went to donate. Giving blood is a huge gift, isn't it? Andrew likes to do it regularly. I've tried to donate but I always end up throwing up and passing out. I'd like to try again someday, though (when Andrew isn't looking). But I digress. We'll still have our Friday Night, just a bit later.

Then I'm taking a plane tomorrow night, and arriving at my parents' house on Sunday at 3 pm. Courtesy of Helen, who traveled two days before me so she could pick me up at the airport.

On that note, I hope to write again next week. Or maybe the week after, once I'm back on the 3rd of August. I'm SO looking forward to seeing my friends and family, but also, I'm a creature of habit and I want to return to my quiet routine, filled with Andrew and the cats, and free of academic applications.

Be well. Stay safe.

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