Esther’s Space- journey through my life

May 21, 2007

I’m insane, and it’s all my fault.

Filed under: Rant — estherspace @ 5:37 pm

I figured out why I feel obligated to do so much.  It’s because very few of the people I know actually respect what it means to pursue ‘English’ as a career.  I grew up on a farm in a rural community where physical labor is the only proof of merit and the way to success.  Walking home from class today, I realized that I feel like I need to make myself an example.  I am pushing myself as if respect for liberal arts rides on my success. 

Intelectually, I know that it does not.  But, I still do it.  I am taking on a lot.  And working a few jobs on top of a very full school schedule.  Why?  I contemplated this during my walk today.  I could just get a loan that covers school and housing expenses and worry about it later, like so many people do.  I bet I could be a wicked smart student in that situation.  (or, more likely, I would just use that time to watch tv, something that doesn’t currently take any priority)

So, I thought and thought.  Then it dawned on me.  It is because I’m afraid.  I’m afraid of debt, I’m afraid of failure.  I ‘need’ to work to pay my housing bills.  But I don’t really need to work; I could just worry about it later.  But, since I’m majoring in English literature and want to get a Ph.D. in Australian Literature and Postcolonial Literary Studies (at least that’s the plan), I feel like I’m going to have so many hurdles to success once I graduate that I should do my best to avoid creating any further obstacles now. 

 What I can’t fully work out is why I am so worried about it.  Why can’t I just ‘know’ that I will be so great at what I do that getting a job will be a breeze and it won’t be too hard to find a school willing to hire me.  Well, I tried that line of thinking, then I realized that English professors don’t really get paid the same as NASA engineers, so then what if I don’t make enough to pay off my loans, let alone buy a house or start a family?  But, society is telling me that I need to buy a house and start a family.  Maybe, but it is something that I want, not just what I feel I should do. 

I should go to counseling. 

I’m going to assume that I’m not the only one with this problem.  I’m also going to assume that the answer is to relax, and keep running the marathon with the knowledge that it has to end sometime.


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