Saturday, April 26, 2014


When I started teaching college students, the First Year Experience Coordinator gave me and all of my colleagues a chart, which mapped the emotional ebb and flow of the average new, first time freshman.  They called it "The Rhythm of the Academic Year."  This chart was so good that it predicted student behavior to the month.

And sure enough, like clock work, every year whenever a student would come into office hours with a sob story about breaking up with their boyfriend or girlfriend from back home, I would think: holy shit, is it February already?!

So where am I going with this?  To the usual prolix, pseudo-introspective places.  Obvi.  Get with the program.

Well, I've been noticing more and more that my year has a rhythm. 

January is usually an entire month of holiday hangover,  in which I feel perpetually bored and listless. 

February in recent years has always been one of my busiest months and I am usually too tired to feel much of anything. 

By March, I've lost most of my January apathy but start to crave some sort of change. Being someone that doesn't particularly like change, this usually results in me fantasizing about the next phase of my life.

In April, I always seem to talk myself in getting bangs (that conversation is currently happening inside my head).

In May, I am mostly cheerful, mostly hopeful, and mostly ready for summer. 

In June, my base-line level of contentment is typically at a record high.  

In July, I usually have fun over the fourth of July weekend but then all of my hypothetical musing about the future catches up with me and I spend the rest of the month feeling anxious about the fall and money and pretty much everything under the sun.

I spend August mourning the loss of summer.  

I spend September celebrating the arrival of fall (and subsequently cursing the hot weather.) 

By October, I feel a palpable sense of anticipation (for what, I am never quite sure) and watch nothing but scary movies and Ghost Adventures on repeat (judge away, haters).  

In November, I try desperately to stave off the urge to listen to Christmas music but secretly start to feel really excited about the impending holiday season. 

December is always kind of a mixed bag of some of the highest of the highs (Christmastime, my birthday) and the lowest of the lows (everything leading up to Christmas: grading, deadlines, traveling, shopping, etc.)

So that is generally how my year goes.  Naturally, there are external factors that can disrupt this rhythm or alter it slightly and I can never quite tell if these aberrations are welcomed or unwanted cause I'm just easy, breezy like that.

But this year, I think I'm embracing it and only partially because I've grown tired of the bangs v. no bangs debate.   Current status: stalemate.  Shocker.

Anyways, do you remember that post back in January, where I taunted you with cryptic hints about some big news I had?  Duh.  Of course you do. I'm sure you've thought of little else.  Well, it probably comes as no surprise, especially given other recent insinuations, that I was talking about the possibility of leaving Los Angeles.

There has always been an expiration date on our time in Los Angeles.  The plan was to come out here for graduate school and then move back east or to the pacific northwest.  And sure, I've grown to love Los Angeles but it is pretty far from most of our family and I've always felt nervous about the idea of raising children somewhere where a modest one level-two bedroom house costs upwards of a million dollars and where good schools have the same rigorous admissions processes as ivy leagues institutions.

So we came here knowing we would leave one day, we just didn't exactly know when and that didn't exactly bother me.  Every so often I would feel frustrated by our lives in Los Angeles, mostly because it felt like as long as we were here our lives were in limbo, but generally speaking, I've been pretty content.

When Moses' time frame for finishing went from a year to six months to suddenly next month (and it was literally that abrupt), I knew that would probably impact the rhythm of my year, I just didn't know how much. The actual process of defending and the lead-up to it was so stressful and awful for both of us that we really didn't have time to process what would happen afterwards, even though we had already vaguely discussed the possibility of Moses applying to post-docs back in January (thus all those posts brimming with secret-keeping desperation).

Moses' top two choices are on the East Coast.  He has already done some interviews and things are looking promising, which is making a cross-country move seem all the more likely.

And it's exciting and terrifying but mostly exciting.

Now, I am positively dying to know what will happen.

I'm a pretty patient person with most things: waiting in lines or at doctor's offices, waiting for someone to get back to me about a question I asked them, explaining the same things over and over again to my students until they understand it.  I once even waited 45 minutes for a coffee that the barista forgot about, but this!  This I cannot be patient about.  Or surprises, which is why Moses has stopped telling me when he has a surprise for me because otherwise, I am just infuriating.

So our lives in limbo in Los Angeles have been thrust into a further state of limbo.

And now I be like: 
Keep you posted...

No comments:

Post a Comment