Work continues to be overwhelming in the extreme, so I took another dip into my archives and pulled out some material from one of the other periods in my life when I was incredibly overwhelmed; grad school. Here are a few musings from November 2018 about why I write things down, with a side of self-doubt and depression. Remind me why I want more grad school again? (Just kidding, I really do want to go back to school, but this pandemic really is not good for mental health, in case you didn’t notice….)
Anyone who knows me knows that I am constantly writing things down. I take notes in class obviously. I take notes at conferences, which is expected. I take notes at one-time lectures, which is normal. I take notes when someone is giving a speech, which is OK. I take notes at book tours, which not everyone does, but some people do. In the morning I often write notes about what I dreamed, which isn’t particularly unusual. I’ve been known to track my eating or sleeping for certain periods of time for various purposes.
I have no idea where I was going with that.
Anyway, the point is that I write stuff down a lot, and I have a system of notebooks, a careful system, in which every notebook has its place, and only certain things go in certain notebooks. Sometimes I run into the issue that I have a thought or an idea or a concept that needs to be recorded, and I unfortunately do not have the necessary notebook with me. That is where the general notebook comes in. The general notebook is useful, because I can just write down whatever came to me in the moment, and then promptly move on from it. The issue with the general notebook, however, is that I sometimes lose track of what is in it, or cannot find what I need, or forget that I put something important in there until I stumble upon it looking for something else and find myself having an “oh shit” moment. Yeah, it’s that kind of notebook.
In any case, I was working on a completely separate project, which was a small one, not worth dedicating an entire notebook to (I’m not sure if y’all noticed, but notebooks are getting expensive these days) and right there, upon the page to which I could have sworn I only dedicated to that project were some musings based upon my witchcraft class about the problem of evil:
“The afterlife is, on a most basic level, a way of comprehending the problem of evil and inequality. If life on earth is miserable for ‘good’ people’ and pleasurable for ‘bad’ people, that doesn’t make sense for the present situation, and so the concept of the ‘next’ life is created, because even if bad things happen now, it will even out later.”
The other reason I write stuff down all the time is because I am constantly forgetting things. Honestly, the problem is quite dire. I would probably lose my head if it wasn’t attached and my memory at times feels like a sieve, and it hadn’t gotten better since I had some head trauma a couple years back. But in all seriousness, the things I do remember are ridiculous. What does it matter what my password was for the work computer I had at my summer 2018 internship when I can’t remember what the password is other accounts that I use daily? The problem seems impossible. Mastery of myself seems impossible honestly. Sometimes I just want to cry tears of exhaustion over how pained my own emotions are and I feel like I need to write them down as a form of cathartic release, but I don’t know, in some ways that makes it worse? I feel like it should make things better, but no, it definitely makes things worse. I wish I could stop being so sad all the time because being sad is unproductive, but sometimes I just get into funks like these and it feels impossible to get out of them and it’s like I’m just drowning in it all.