It is one month into the semester, but oddly, it feels like I should be halfway through the semester – like I’ve been in school for A. Long. Time. Yet I am just now figuring out how to organize my days. Weeks are busy, and while I’m handling it, I feel the stress. Every second of every day, I need to be reading or reviewing stories or grading papers or writing my own stories. And when I’m not, I can’t enjoy myself, because I feel immensely guilty for having a life (or just vegging out – which I did last night). There is one time of the day, three days a week, when I let the guilt go. But it’s another story for another entry.
I wake up every morning to find that my jaw is clamped shut. Stuck like it’s been super-glued. I pull my bottom teeth away from my top teeth and try to stretch out my mouth until it feels less tight. This has been going on for two weeks. It feels odd to carry stress in my jaw, but maybe there’s no room in my back and shoulders and neck anymore.
I was homesick the other night. After class on Tuesday, my classmates and I went for a drink. I felt so disoriented in this group of writers, and I only wanted to be around people familiar and comfortable to me. I wanted to be in a bar Baton Rouge and not in a crappy San Marcos sports bar/Irish pub/slash bar that doesn’t know what it wants to be. I didn’t feel like being in foreign Texas where everything is also the shape of Texas – vehicle safety inspection stickers, signage always declaring where I am.
Feels like I've been in school and Texas for a dog's age. *see word of the day.
There are lots of good things to report alongside my stress and feeling dislocated and homesick and without the comfort of friends who understand me and don’t analyze my behavior the way writers do. Next entry, all the good stuff.