When it’s good it’s really good and when it’s bad I go to pieces…

It’s been a bad week for CJ. I won’t bore anyone with the details, but a sudden depression following my getting heat stroke last Sunday has clouded over my life; the weather itself seems to have cooled and turned inclement in sympathy. I have been fighting it, but I’m tired, a little confused, and rather dizzy from the tablets my GP gave me. In short, all is not good. Focusing to type is increasingly difficult, and I’m run down, fairly broke and not exactly cheerful. As such I have not been blogging much.

It’s always interesting to stop and reflect how did I end up where I am today. I think everyone understands that I am vaguely academic – I did rather a long time at university, but I never got my doctorate, and that is the root cause of my depression today. I worked out earlier that f fees do not increase I may be able to afford it by the time I am seventy — and it puzzles me when people do not see why this, and my subsequent enforced removal from the thing I  love, academia and lecturing, depresses the hell out of me. Yes I spent too long at the university – but there was a reason – a university is really the only place I feel I belong, and academia the one thing I truly excel at. Sure I can work in other jobs, but as I think Ben Devlin would confirm, even then I stray off in to academia – I’m probably useless.

All my girlfriends have done well for themselves – and oddly, I think that makes it a little easier. I have always lived somewhat vicariously, trying to help others achieve their dreams, do the best they can. Today I just feel low, and like maybe one day it will be my turn. Perhaps I’m not clever enough to do a PhD, and while when I was young I did have occasional funding offers – I always turned them down to stay in Cheltenham with my friends or girlfriend – they have dried up in recent years.

This August I’m forty.  For almost fifteen years my academic career has been on hold, and I have been in limbo. Maybe I need to do something about it soon – I’m not going to get ten grand from anywhere for a PhD, but I need to either move on, stop entirely, or find a new dream.  Still, I think I’d have been a great academic. 🙂 Pity I never really got to find out.

cj x

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About Chris Jensen Romer

I am a profoundly dull, tedious and irritable individual. I have no friends apart from two equally ill mannered cats, and a lunatic kitten. I am a ghosthunter by profession, and professional cat herder. I write stuff and do TV things and play games. It's better than being real I find.
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6 Responses to When it’s good it’s really good and when it’s bad I go to pieces…

  1. Limbo says:

    Hang in there dude!

  2. JD says:

    CJ,

    I sympathize a lot because I too feel that I’m academic in my bones, but I’m trying to reconcile with the fact that good tenure-track jobs in my discipline (religion and philosophy) are rare to non-existent. But the lack of a degree doesn’t have to stop someone from doing research in their area of interest. This article on amateur scholars from my own alma mater might be encouraging to you:

    http://paw.princeton.edu/issues/2009/04/22/pages/5110/

    I’ll be praying for you in this difficult time. Hang in there!

  3. Miss Tracy F. Paint says:

    Dude, we’ll get you there yet. Dunno how, but you’ve got enough smart friends out there to combine with your own smarts and come up with a plan…

  4. Wiccandelight says:

    Hiya cj,
    I do agree with FP (above). Something will work out – i am nearly positive it will. Chin up hun xxx

  5. David says:

    I’m sorry you are having such a crap time at the moment CJ. Depression can be bloody horrible, I know. I can sympathise because I suffer from it myself from time to time… not much consolation to you I know, but at least you know you are not alone.
    I also know what it can be like to be frustrated in your plans. I wanted to continue to do my MA at University and even started the course, but had to give it up because of circumstances beyond my control (not helped by the f*****g awful relationship I was in at the time).
    I don’t know what else to say to you that might help, but I do know that you seem to me to be the sort of guy whose intelligence and drive will pull you through somehow. You are in my prayers.

  6. Wendy C says:

    If it’s any consolation (and it probably isn’t, but I’m always in favour of spreading schadenfreude) Universities are full of academics with PhDs feeling similarily depressed and ground down despite having got exactly what they wanted. The ungrateful sods. Some of them are even teaching parapsychology in grim used-to-be industrial towns but Karmic forces have seen to it that they’re all getting fat/losing their hair and/or sporting goatee beards (and that’s just the women…) Take this as PROOF that you were meant for better things. Would a loving God/dess send you to work in Liverpool Hope? Would s/he?? I think not. So! Having escaped an awful fate what next? You write loads and you write well and PhDs by publication are musch cheaper to get than PhDs by research, perhaps you have articles already that could form the basis for this? And what about the Lund University prospect? The application process is labyrinthine but its lovely there (and they fire off cannons at graduation in a weird combination of gowns and gunpowder that has to be admired). You have talent. You have prospects. Do not give up.

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