Is This Life?

Is this just life? Am I not being realistic?

Lately, I find myself grading papers on Saturdays and writing proposals late into the night and answering student emails that appear in my inbox at every hour, at every second, all the time. Last night I had to leave the rockin’ band performance of my bestie Ariana because I was exhausted, and because I had to get up early this morning to work. What the hell?

What is normal? Is this it? I want to have time to make random little art pieces. I want time to write on this blog. I want time to make worry dolls and to paint greeting cards and to go on hikes. And I want that time without having to run through theoretical frameworks in my head or add up how many stop motions I still have to grade or consider pending grant deadlines.

Do normal people have hours on end, to do these things? Do they have time, a little, at least? Do they make time, and f*ck the rest? Do they schedule it in, an hour a day, a jumble of minutes that are only for colouring outside the lines? What does a life look like, one with pockets of time for creative expression that is only that, expression that is just expression, expression that won’t be analyzed or written about or discussed in a meeting or even hung on the wall.

I don’t have an excuse anymore. When I was in treatment, I couldn’t do jack sh*t because I was in treatment. I mean I wrote my dissertation, but I also slept a lot and cried a lot and spent a lot of time trying to paste fake eyebrows to my eyelids. I was teaching when I was diagnosed, so I finished out the semester but I didn’t teach the following semester, except for a TA-ship in an online grad course. So now that my tit is gone and my cancer shrivelled and poisoned (thank you, chemotherapy) and my dissertation is defended, I don’t have an excuse to not dive in head first into utterly scheduled afternoons? What? I definitely don’t crave being in treatment, but I do crave being able to write off stuff I don’t want to do because I’d rather take a nap, go to yoga, or make a friendship bracelet.

How do I get that? How do I finance that? How do I find that?

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