Well, it’s happened. I had my very first real I-hate-you-grad-school cry.
I tried to avoid it. I kept focusing on all the positives that have been coming through and all the new things I’m learning, not to mention patting myself on the back for handling all of the assignments so darn well. But then October 31 rolled around.
I love Halloween. Always have. I mean, I’m a chick who has the word “imagine” tattooed on her thigh, and not just because she loves John Lennon. No, I love anything to do with make believe, so the whole “pretending to be anything or anyone you want” part of Halloween? That’s my bag, yo.
Plus, you know, Harry Potter and themed drinks and pumpkin flavored stuff and sugar and whatnot.
So I was pretty bummed to realize that there was NO WAY I was going to be able to go out for Halloween.
Not no way, not no how.
I was bummed, yes.
But that’s not why I cried.
There will be other Halloweens, and as a teacher, I generally get to dress up multiple times throughout the year for various spirit days. Plus, if I feel truly bereft, I’ll just throw another themed bday party like my 26th Harry Potter party where we have to dress up. Problem solved.
No, this was a true heartbreak cry.
You see, tomorrow is November 1.
I’ve done a lot of things for the past three years: worked as a teacher, eaten healthier, snuggled my dogs, been proactive about my personal issues, accepted changes as they came…you get the picture. But none did I attack with more persistence and mostly-private dedication than National Novel Writing Month each November.
For the past three years, I’ve managed to turn out most of a novel (at east 50,000 words of one) each year and “win” National Novel Writing Month. It wasn’t about the potential to publish for me, or the whole “let me brag about it.” No, it was about me proving to myself that I haven’t given up on my dream. That just because I’m a teacher, that doesn’t make me any less of a writer. That it’s still in the works and one day, maybe in 2 years, maybe in 20, I’ll finally pursue that lifelong goal.
I needed that.
Turns out, though, that graduate school feasts on your dreams.
Most of my coursework culminates over the course of November in major papers or projects, with just a couple leftover assignments hanging in there for the first couple of weeks of December. And based on how busy I’ve been the past week with work plus my graduate assignments, there’s no way I’ll be able to do it this year.
So, when I changed my calendar at work before I left for the weekend (at 6:15pm, might I add), I lost it.
I mean, full-on ugly cried, y’all. I’m pretty sure the custodian who came in to check on me from next door because she could hear me through the walls thought that someone had died. And I was too emotional to translate what was actually going on into passable Spanish, so I just kind of thanked her and waved her off with hand gestures that I’m sure were very confusing.
There’s not really anything for it, I’m afraid. I can’t afford to fail a class, take a week off work, or stop sleeping, and as far as I know, I don’t have a Time Turner or any divine powers to extend the number of hours in a day, so I’m afraid that I just have to deal with the fact that I can’t do it this year. Nor, in all likelihood, next year.
I hate this part of growing up.
And so, because I’ve completed one major assignment tonight and have already accepted my weekend fate of hunkering down with academic journals and such, I’m going to wallow in despair tonight. Maybe I’ll write a little (more), maybe I’ll read, or maybe I’ll just go sit in a coffee shop and lament the state of my life. Whatever I do, I’ll over do it.
Because tomorrow, I have to wake up, get over it, put my heartache to the side, and research how cyborgs and their development have affected modern feminism.
I wish I was kidding, but I’m not.
So I’m sorry, potential novel, that I have to stop you before you even begin. It’s not you, it’s me. Or our timing was just not right. We were, apparently, never meant to be.
Or we could just go ahead and lay the blame on grad school, because it’s the real evil this Halloween.