Servetus spews

Just not in shape at the moment to write anything with transition sentences. After a summer of mostly Richard Armitage, this is mostly me. I should be able to get back to my planned writing projects regarding Armitage tomorrow or the next day, I think; they’re still important to me on their own terms and as self-exploration. These are all things I’d like to say more about but at the moment I just need get them all down and out.

  • Not sure what I’d have done this summer without Obscura to meet up with every now and then — who gave me a wonderful long sendoff, as always her ears and shoulder, and also some delicious home-canned tomato juice.
  • Drive was fine. I didn’t start it soon enough so the end was rough but I made it. Thanks for all the prayers and good wishes — I am always grateful for them.
  • For those who asked: long drive soundtrack was mostly Richard Armitage’s reading of Venetia, which I fell in love with all over again, plus Will You Tolerate This? and Parent Hood. Oh, Armitage. How am I grateful to thee? Let me count the ways.
  • I probably should say — for those who hadn’t already guessed it — that the job I took was an administrative position at my previous university. I’d been asked by my chair to apply after a pending retirement in the spring, although it was not my initial choice of what to do next. It involves no teaching and no research, which were two basic criteria for any job I took this year. Whether to do this and how was a matter of stomach-grinding anxiety on every level all summer and eventually I’ll try to explain as I publish the rest of the retroactive posts — taking this job and the decision to go to London were things that I juggled in mind every day for weeks — but probably the blog will only make sense going forward if you continue to know this little but significant fact.
  • So yeah. I moved all the way home in June, and now I just moved all the way back. I am aggravated about this but that’s how public institutions work.
  • I am sad not to be in Wisconsin. Sadder than most people around me realize.
  • I am happy to have health insurance. The uncertainty in the Supreme Court decisions this summer meant that it was possible I might not qualify for subsidized health insurance while living in Wisconsin. For the record I am a big fan of the ACA but the lawmakers need to get their act together or it’s not going to help the people who need it most (of whom I am not even one — because I don’t have huge difficulties finding work that includes health insurance).
  • I am happy to be resumé building and trying something different and looking forward to learning new things. This is a much more geographically portable role than professor was.
  • What I absolutely have to write about soon is the whole question of career and identity vs the question of being an actor — I’ve approached this a few times this summer but I found myself thinking about it today and it is imperative that I explore that.
  • Happy to have my favorite synagogue, my favorite bar, good colleagues, good work atmosphere (mostly) and Pesky back in my immediate ambit.
  • I’m really worried about having left Dad. We have a couple of new mechanisms in place to help him out but I am worried they won’t work. However, we’re giving it a shot.
  • Summary of the summer — my father and I are better friends than we were in June. There were a lot of rough moments. He hasn’t changed. But mom is gone. I need to write about this more, but it seems to me there were two consequences — first, she wasn’t counting on me to fight with him to get her home from the hospital (which I failed at, anyway), so I wasn’t approaching him all the time assuming conflict. That’s not surprising; the bigger realization is the second thing, which is that without mom present all the time, I could see the way that historically, she set me up for conflict with him. He still does not — and will never — see me for who I am, or have any respect for my choices. But mom’s self-imposed isolation due to the alcoholism meant that she set me up as her best friend on that level; for a long time I was the only person she could talk about it with, and those confidences meant that I was set up to dislike many things about him that were separate from that issue. Without her there it is easier for me to look at him clearly and realize that there are things I do like about him.
  • Now in town again, I need to rent an apartment and surprisingly, I am finding myself drawn to options that are not the cheapest ones. I always just rented a box with a lock on the door. But if I am going to work forty hours a week I will have free time in the larger sense and maybe my surroundings are more important than I have realized in the last two decades.
  • It’s only been one day, but I can already feel the possibility that without my emotional energies constantly engaged either by my research or my students and my worries about them — as they were when I was a professor — more creative energy will be available to be unleashed. It’s going to take some adjustment to the schedule, but ultimately I will have something like twenty-five more hours a week once I get used to it. I’m not going to escape emotional involvement, either by the nature of the work, or by nature of my personality, and of course there will be crunch periods as in any job: but I can see a life without a constant current of negative emotion that eventually takes up all my energy to suppress.
  • So I can pursue implementation of the next phase of my hopes for 2014 — “no more shame, no more guilt” — no more nagging worries about everything I am not doing for my students or my research. Or — let us be honest — my father, who threatened to take up that space this summer. I am going to spend six months exploring and learning how not to be motivated by guilt, and to continue to be motivated by desire, my desire for creativity and flow.

More remains to be said but that much was necessary anyway. I should be back at the usual in a day or so. Thanks for listening.

~ by Servetus on September 30, 2014.

40 Responses to “Servetus spews”

  1. Alles Gute für den Neustart! ❤ Und Venetia ist wirklich zauberhaft im Auto….

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  2. I sincerely hope the best for you. I was wondering about that long drive…:-)

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  3. 🙂 Good luck!

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  4. Looking forward to reading more about this, particularly the last item, as I could use a lesson myself.

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  5. Sounds like you are continuously becoming a better you. Evolving, changing, stabilizing, taking risks, learning, growing, becoming. You are inspiring. Go Gurl.

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  6. I went to grad school at UW-Madison. Twenty four years later I still miss it (except for the winter). But somehow I don’t think I could go back. You have to keep moving ahead. Bonne chance!

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    • me too on all points; went to UW for the PhD; miss it a lot; couldn’t go back. Although I did look for jobs there this summer but didn’t find anything.

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      • When I was there, “The Onion” was a little weekly paper you could pick up on the street corner, and look at them now 🙂 Madtown has changed a lot, but it’s still great.

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  7. I’m glad to hear ou got to bond with your dad this summer. I had a somewhat similar experience with my dad at some point after I left home, i.e. I realized my mom had set him up as the bad guy all those years I was growing up. Not that she didn’t have plenty of good reasons. I mean he was an alcoholic and it was hard living with him, especially for her. But after I left home, I realized even though he drank, he had many good qualities. And this probably shows just how clueless I am; but it wasn’t until after he died, that I realized what a daddy’s girl I was. But enough about that — good luck with the new job. And happy for you that you got to go to see RA in the flesh this summer! Yay!

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    • Aw, Sloan. Yeah, exactly as you said it. My mother needed me as her support and that was why she did what she did. But it’s also not fair to treat my dad as if alcoholic is the sum total of his identity. He’s funny, and observant, and a little wacky at times, and oddly sentimental in a way I find touching. I’m more like him than I realize.

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  8. As a long time reader of your blog, and friend, I wanted to tell you that I am so proud of you on so many levels.

    Really.

    I am so very happy for you, because you have found peace. I know this next phase is going to bring lots of good things for you. Or moreover, that you are in a good place to bring more good into your life.

    I can’t wait to read that novel and work with you on that film adaptation.

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  9. Wow…all of me wants to send you a massive hug … so much in just a few months…testimony to a woman of great strength I think…

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  10. Thanks so much for this. I’m used to bullet points, so I love it 🙂 I’m so happy that this does indeed have some significant positives for you. Enjoy hearing your perspective on your pilgrimage with your dad. (You’ve made me love him, you know.) And imagine, 25 more hours/wk to write! (Whoops, I mean, to do whatever you want! My vote doesn’t count, but my bias is showing! 🙂 Hugs

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  11. I wish you the very best in your new venture. You are one of the bravest people I know!

    Shame and guilt are big ones for me as well. I’m so happy you are willing to take us with you as you explore.

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  12. Good luck in your new job, your new phase of life, and your new projects.

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  13. Bonne chance!

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  14. Good luck in the new job!

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  15. Best wishes. Here’s to happiness, balance, and flow!

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  16. I think we are more than even after you carted me to the hospital and patiently listened to me natter away on several occasions!

    Mutantur omnia nos et mutamur in illis.

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  17. Okay, I didn’t catch on that you were heading back to your old university for the new job. Glad the drive back went smoothly and I hope you settle into your new job quickly.

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  18. I hope this new job works out well for you. It is good to hear that you and your dad are getting on better. I don’t think you will miss the Wisconsin winter, think of us when we are frozen this year as they are saying it is to be worse this year.

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  19. My imagination had you driving to California. I was so close. Congratulations on your new job. It sounds like a great opportunity. I was missing news of Pesky (I love his name) so I am delighted you will be hanging out again. You deserve to have a pleasant place to live and not feel guilty about it. I hope you allow yourself a slight upgrade. Maybe going to London broke the dam a bit, or put a few cracks in it, and you can indulge yourself a tiny bit.

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    • I did look at jobs in CA briefly 🙂 but you know, California, lol. That would have been a real break in the dam.

      Spending most of the day w/the Peskies on Saturday. Can’t wait. Oh, wait, atoning for sin.

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  20. Serv’ I wish you all the very best with this move, I hope it’s another step toward contentment for you. All strength to you.

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  21. All good wishes to you. A couple of points strike a chord with me and where I am at in my life also. Hope things work out for your Dad – I understand that responsibility too well and I’m glad you have been able to move forward. The career/identity issue is a big one I’m grappling with also.

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  22. Glad to read all this 🙂 Good to hear you’ve found better ground with dad. And do treat yourself to an upgrade to the ‘box’ 😉 especially if you will have more time to spend in it to be creative, allow yourself some treats to inspire you and feel good in the space 🙂 We all deserve our creature comforts! Looking forward to hearing about Pesky. And admin stuff has it’s advantages, it can be contained within the hours most of the time, fingers x and you can hopefully forget it when you are not there and do your thing 🙂 x

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  23. Thanks so much, everyone, for all the good wishes. It’s like having a Greek chorus around that instead of predicting doom and destruction, issues constant bulletins of joy, confidence, and support.

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  24. This is just bloody fantastic. So excited for you and this new journey! Enjoy that head space!

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  25. Good spewing, Servetus!

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