Monday, April 29, 2013

Broke


A white oxford shirt, boyfriend jeans, and black flats. It never gets old.

We were in a holding pattern for a year, waiting to replace broken things or make an upgrade. I'm glad I spent money on quality goods during my improvident years because they lasted through many years of use, but we're at a breaking point in every sense right now. Hopefully things will work out better next year, but they may not. I've been writing a post in my head about being a young academic couple and having a family, but I don't think I will ever publish it. Partly because this blog isn't anonymous enough. But mostly because I want to perceive myself as stoic and pragmatic even when I feel the complete opposite.

And anyway, even when falling apart has become a condition, I'm happily reminded that a white oxford and denim is all it takes to look pulled together.

ETA Thank you to everyone who has commented. It's always good to hear that I'm not alone. 

22 comments:

Sarge in Charge said...

I am sorry that it feels like everything is falling apart at once, I can relate somewhat. There are no bonus points for suffering in silence, though. I have always tended to keep things to myself, but when I fight that tendency I am always amazed 1. at how kind and supportive people are and 2. how much better I feel just to have someone saying "me too" and "I know, right?".

Maybe a post about the frustrations of academic careers/family would help you stay stoic in real life? I know I would like to read it-- even though I don't have to deal with the same career issues or kids just yet, it is nice to hear how couples with demanding jobs and kids make it work.

Victoria Shutts said...

I am in a similar position as well - except we're not in academics. Either way, it does start to feel like an assault on the middle class. I, too, have been reaching for timeless staples, thankful to have them.

xx

jennifer said...

Although I don't have children, I definitely know that feeling of despair when it comes to the academic job market. I'm sorry that you have had such a rough time. Keep your chin up. A good opportunity (academic or non-academic) is bound to pop up sooner or later.

Anna McClurg said...

I can relate to this! Jed's pay as a PhD student isn't much and my job doesn't pay a lot either. And it definitely can be hard sometimes. We are moving to Boulder so Jed can continue his work at the university and we have to figure out how to get an apartment and move with the little income that we have now. But I know it will all work out! I bet it is even harder when you start adding kids into the mix. I don't think people often realize the sacrifice you make when you choose an academic career. I sure didn't when I married Jed! But it's also not as bad when you get used to it. I hope everything will start to get easier for you soon! xoxo

L.P. said...

Hang in there. It's very tough but you are not alone.

You are absolutely right about the shirt, jeans, and black flats. Always works.

joyce said...

Boy, I can commiserate with the "two body" problem. Hang in there!

Catherine said...

My father tells me (in relation to children, but it could be useful for general living too) that his mother always said 'it's just a stage, it will pass'.

I know it might not feel like that when you're in the eye of it, but life is never static. You're too bright a spark for this to go on for too long.

nanashi said...

Please hang on there, academia can be very isolating and bleak, but you have a beautiful family and in a few years there will come a day when you can look back and realize how differently you feel about the circumstance.

Mona Vernon said...

Nothing is as beautiful as your family and your beautiful sense of aesthetics. Academia is super stressful and the path is tough.

I bought my first white oxford this year, I am giving up polished for timeless I want to consume less buy less and just be more alive.

julia said...

It is good to be honest about how things are, and at the same time to know that things will always look up from there - and they do! (Much to my frequent surprise, they do!) But that doesn't mean any of it is easy to deal with at the time, sometimes life just kind of stinks and there's no getting around it.

I very much admire people in academia, it's so much work. I know things will look up for you soon! :)

erica said...

Thanks, everyone! It is really helpful to hear your thoughts and experiences. I'm scrambling to apply for new positions, but a part of me is still in disbelief. Plus my DSLR was stolen, and my smart phone is irreparably broken.

A very good friend told me, "Sometimes you have to be angry and annoyed for a while."

Here's hoping the bad news will slow to a trickle so I can have a chance to stand up again.

CyberMe said...

What happened? Sometimes, it really is less of a burden to talk about it, and hear the thoughts and common experiences that can support you.

montmarte said...

i hope things will be better soon, erica!

Jocy said...

Hang in there. This year has been strangely tough for many people I know, including myself. It helps to say/write things out loud. Every time I get into one of these funks, I remind myself that this will change. Things do get better. It doesn't do much for the crappy feeling at the time, but it reminds me to keep going.

Moya said...

I'm sorry to hear things aren't going well--academia is a bitch, particularly in the humanities (I could rant on for days). Just keep writing and plugging on--you have the boys and that's a huge plus. And things will look up. This too will pass.

Anna said...

Erica, I'm in a very similar situation: campus visits didn't work out this time, and so my little boy and I are following my husband (also in academia) to a new position, in a place where I don't particularly want to live. We're grateful for his opportunity, but of course there's no guarantee there'll be anything for me where he is going. So it's back to the drawing board next fall for me! I know, I think, exactly how you feel now. I'm just going to try to enjoy my little boy, keep writing (and publishing, I hope) as much as possible, and trust that it will all work out.

I feel sure that something good will come along for you! But the waiting is so hard, I know... I'm there, too!

redfox said...

Ugh, I'm sorry to hear this. Academia can be just horrible. There is something so specially nasty about having the thrill of excitement turn nose-down into the dolor of disappointment. I hope you get some cheering times and nice treats of some sort soon.

mel said...

I feel for you, Erica!! Hope things start to look up. I'm so inspired by your post that I'm wearing this exact outfit today - to teach!!!

aprovecharse said...

I hear you on the academic front. You just have to hang in there, somehow. Sending good thoughts your way!

erica said...

sorry to hear about your dashed hopes, too, anna...

it's hard not feeling bitter about having to publish, teach, and research at the level of an assistant professor without any of the institutional support just to get one's foot in the door. not to mention caring for the children. there is so much i could say about the situation, but again, the blog is too public for me to risk it.

at least the weather is improving. it's just a matter of staying motivated...

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