Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The day the nervous energy took hold, or why I'm telling my term papers to BRING IT.

In a couple of my classes over the past few weeks, we've been discussing the idea of "happiness" as something that cannot be understood as a neutral, obvious "good." Happiness is inevitably tied up in ideas of what it means to be the "right kind" of happy, the "right kind" of person. We've been discussing how unhappiness, melancholia, stress and fear can be productive feelings, and perhaps not always so "bad" that they must be done away with as soon as possible and replaced with happiness. Sometimes that is not possible. Sometimes that is not desirable. Sometimes that involves forgetting "bad" things that should not be forgotten. Sometimes that involves anaesthetizing one's self, checking out from a situation or a life that needs to be paid attention to.

This morning I took a good, hard look at my calendar. Today is April 10. Between now and April 25, there are three term paper due dates written in bright blue marker. Despite the fact that I hadn't had my coffee yet, I felt a little more awake and my heart started to beat a little faster. I went online and read my professor's feedback on an essay proposal I submitted last week. She suggested about nine thousand other amazing sources I should look up. This essay, at approximately 20 pages, will be the longest essay I've ever written. I want to make it good enough that it will also be the first essay I ever try and submit to a journal. My heart started thumping... I could feel the blood moving through my veins, warming up my limbs. I felt the adrenaline. Suddenly I felt the urge to do something, anything, to be productive and get 'er done.

Am I relaxed? Hell no. Am I at peace, am I smiling, am I displaying all those usual signs of happiness? Not at all. Will the faint wrinkles that are developing under my eyes and between my eyebrows be a little bit deeper by April 25? You bet. (Side note: The media would have you believe that there are a good ten years or so between acne and wrinkles. NOT TRUE. Apparently there's this lovely period in your early- to mid-twenties--and perhaps beyond, I haven't gotten there yet--when you notice you have both pimples and little wrinkles. Oh joy.) But is this a "bad" feeling? Do I want to trade in this stress and fear and nervous energy for a life of no worries and eternal "good feelings"? Fuck no! As I said in my last post, my life is fucking awesome--stress, fear and all.

Term papers, BRING IT ON.

Time for an academic smackdown, Courtney and Whitney stylez.

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