I've had this word, fragile, stuck in my head lately. I think that's because I've had a couple people I respect(ed) use that word to describe me on different occasions and because there have been times recently when I have genuinely felt emotionally fragile. But, I question this as a label for my personality or a facet of my identity in part because I can look back over what I've carried in the past. It, somehow, feels like a bad thing to be viewed as. We humans value strength, bravery, courage, etc and somehow the definitions of these concepts gets conflated. Can one be brave and courageous and still have moments or times of fragility and the need for support? Does one have to be strong at all times to earn that label? I think of times when I was able to find within myself the ability to handle more than I would expect of almost anyone else and still smile and laugh over the good things in life. And, there are definitely days when I feel that I don't have those reserves anymore. I'm not sure I could do now what I made myself do during those times. So, what does that say? Have I become a weaker person as a result? And, at the same time, how negative a trait is being fragile when things are difficult? Is it fair to expect people to be perpetually strong? I don't think that anyone is placing that expectation on me aside from myself, perhaps. But, I think it's obvious that fragility is viewed negatively a lot of the time. The feminist perspective has it that we should encourage men to feel and express their emotions and, yet, my perception of late is that more and more women seem to be admired for their ability to hide those same emotions. Restraint and the ability to temper one's responses-I'm not questioning the value in that as much as wondering where and when the space for those emotions and feelings is supposed to be or has gone.
Perhaps if we all had a space like this, it would be easier to manage them. Or to come to a realization of what we, as individuals, feel is an appropriate balance between emotion and reserve. I guess that's what I'm struggling with. Balance. Between finding one's bliss and being responsible even if you just feel like you're going through the motions of life. Between being open with people you respect and trust and leaning too much on them or letting the emotions direct your actions without reason intervening. Striking that balance between daring to try something new that you've considered exploring and substituting someone else's direction or path for forging your own. Balancing your needs (especially when they've sort of been ignored over the years) with sensitivity to the needs of those you care about. *sighs the dreaded sigh of the tired and frustrated* I'm confused and I've been struggling with that confusion. Some days, I feel like I'm finally starting to pursue things that make sense (because they make me happy) and other days I feel like the pursuit of them is just as artificial as anything else I've tried in the past.
Moving on, I'm still ironing out the details of this new plan that will get me out of this job. I started off trying to go ahead and get my loan situation under control. In order to get transcripts from UMSL and apply for positions at either a community college or as a substitute teacher or, even, at a HeadStart program, I need those. As of right now, I've spent time on Friday and today calling three different offices multiple times to get some straight answers. It appears that getting my loans consolidated will allow UMSL to release official transcripts as soon as it goes through and, in the meantime, I *can* get unofficial transcripts sent to potential employers. Two questions: why this took so many calls to get to the bottom of and what the difference between official and unofficial transcripts is, I'll just pass over for now. It looks to me like I should be able to start working on getting out of this office really soon which is an amazing relief (even though it's still just a prospect at this point and hinges on actually getting a job somewhere else). It makes me feel so much better that it's even a possibility now instead of just something that *might* be possible someday.
Sort of a mixed bag blog today, I guess. More another day, hopefully more cheery stuff then.