It is raining outside my big 10-foot windows and downtown is looking bleak and resigned; summer is over and frat boys will be screaming "Wooo" more often and, to quote my friend Noel, such cries will reach their fever pitch this weekend. Students here are nuts.
Today is a perfect day for research and writing and isolating myself from London's increasingly busy streets. This cold, milky light reminds me of sitting on the old scuffed hard-wood floors at my old Toronto place, chain-smoking and watching the X-Files, or listening to Mount Eerie, or kissing you, or fighting with you, or crying to myself while gripping a glass of whiskey, or just lying back on the floor and falling asleep in those strips of light. The high melancholic pitch of my nostalgia reaches its peak in late August. Based on my observation of the blogs and tumblr's I am subscribed to and read daily, this is a common ailment. August is so painful. September is better.
Maybe only because it produces a different kind of anxiety; that fresh "I'm back to making something with my life" anxiety produced by new responsibilities and tasks, new people to impress, new papers and grant applications to write. Everyone knows or thinks "this year will be different." I prefer anxiety produced by the future to anxiety produced by the past. The future, at least, always turns out better than I expect.
I am lecturing next Friday and pretty scared about it. Although I have gotten more confident in public speaking and I consistently get great comments afterwards, I still fear criticism and I don't particularly like being in the spotlight. Even just being 'back' in and around campus and the theory center over the past few days has made me feel increasingly anxious. Stupidly, I am intimidated of meeting the new cohort of kids. And I am intimidated of having to finish writing this lecture, of having to present it, of having to do the GRE's in October, on having to write 30 pages of my thesis by September 15th, despite not really knowing what the fuck I'm doing. That said, this blog post (specifically paragraphs 2-4) really encouraged me yesterday and put my academic anxieties in perspective: This Week in Writing and the Anxiety of Meaning by Levi Bryant at his blog Larval Subjects.
Anyways, I hope you are all doing well. xo