December 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
2012 is finally drawing to a close and thank god, because this year has been a roller coaster ride and not in a fun way. I’ve reached my favorite part of my “stress cycle” (is that too much like menstrual cycle for you? too bad.) when I’ve been stressed out for so long that something snaps inside me, releasing the tension and panic while replacing it with a persistent sleepiness. This is my favorite phase because I don’t feel guilty about procrastinating or enjoying life instead of being productive. I can go out without constantly worrying about the work piling up at home or at the museum. This is also the phase when I most trust in myself, kind of like I think “I’ve gotten everything else done, why do I even pretend to think that I won’t get it done this time?” I always get it done. I know I’m still stressed out, though, even if my body isn’t in panic mode all the time. The constant sleepiness is just as much of a problem as the insomnia, so I shouldn’t pretend like I’m out of the stress cycle entirely just because my heart has stopped doing that irregular beating thing.
But things are coming to a close, which is refreshing in and of itself.
By the end of this week, I’ll be done with all my seminar papers and presentations, with only a take home test standing between me and winter break. Well, at my German reading comprehension test, but since my advisor still hasn’t mentioned it to me, I’m hoping I can put off taking it until January (which will actually give me time to study).
By the end of this month, I’ll be done with all but a few of my grad applications, have my student loan money ($$$$), know if I’ll still have a job in 2013 at the museum, and be through the expensive and stressful holiday season.
I really need to clean the apartment, since I’ve been neglecting it for weeks. I also need to send back a pair of boots I ordered (so gorgeous, but so so so uncomfortable. I don’t play that game anymore) and list an electric burner on craigslist since it’s too late to return it. I think I can still return a pair of jeggings (yepp, you heard me) that I bought sometime in the spring. Zappos usually lets you return things really late. I think I could get one leg in them up to the ankle, haha. Stupid pants sizes. I’m trying to embrace being a size 10.
Fatty and Cleo both need baths. Not sure what to do with Cleo, but Fatty should be easy enough to wash in the bathtub. She’s always so fluffy after a bath, I love it.
Oh right, and I’ll have to return all of my damn library books. That’s my absolute least favorite part of the semester. They’re so heavy and there’s so many of them. I usually load up a suitcase (or two) to return them, though I have to admit that it’s a hell of a lot easier having a car to drive them to school instead of hauling them on the train and up and down escalators in DC. Car +1, Metro 0.
Let’s talk about cars for a minute. I’ve been feeling bad lately, a lot like how I felt in high school and college. Dad reminded me of a story not too long ago about how our car broke down in the school parking lot when Mom came to pick me up and I was so embarrassed I went and cried in the bathroom. I’ve felt like that a lot lately, or really the entire time I’ve had a car. The only time I didn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed was when I was 16 and driving my dad’s minivan. At least it wasn’t covered in rust, and that was something. My car after that was an ’86 Prelude that was multicolored (rust and white) and broke down a lot. It was fun to drive though and got great gas mileage, so that’s something. I miss that little car. But it was still embarrassing to be driving around Emory or Mountain Brook in a car that was older than I am and was a rust bucket. It also had this belt that squeaked really loud when I first turned it on, so that was fun.
Now I drive my mom’s old truck, which she gave to my brother when he was in college. When the truck finally came into my hands, it was in really bad shape. No rust, but enough dents, scratches, and damage to make me feel embarrassed to drive it. It has a lot of problems too. When it broke down most recently, I got my great grandmother’s buick to drive, which is about six different colors due to rust and paint decay. Otherwise, it’s not that bad of a car, though it is like driving a boat in size and gas mileage. Last week, it ran out of gas so I had to get a ride to work. When I finally got to work, my boss actually laughed out loud when I told her that the car I was driving because the truck is in the shop broke down. I hate that feeling. I hate parking at the far end of parking lots or on back streets to hide my rusty clunker cars. I hate having to call my dad because my car broke down somewhere yet again. I don’t even want a nice car, I just want a car that looks and runs relatively normal. I just want to blend in.
It seems ungrateful to complain about the free cars I’ve been loaned by my parents. I should be lucky I have something to drive, right? I hate feeling superficial, shallow, and ungrateful, but that doesn’t negate how I feel about driving cars like that.
I’m tempted to use my student loan money to buy a newer car. There are a lot of issues with that because I need that money to pay off my credit card and restock my savings, which have been drained since I moved back home. There’s also the question of if I get into grad school, will I even need a car? With the exception of moving to NYC, I think any other school I go to (even Boston U), it will be handy to have a car. Cars aren’t cheap but if could get something that’s a little younger and better maintained, I think it would be worth it. It’s a tough call though. Of course, if I don’t get into grad school then I’ll definitely need a reliable car.
Things to think about after I get through this week. For now, I have to go back into the eighteenth century and apply Freudian readings to a gendered, pre-feminist interpretation of a Reynolds painting.