16 February 2010


I apologize in advance, as this post might be a crazy flow of consciousness but I'm about this close { } to having a mini breakdown.

I'm just so overwhelmed. And I realize that my life is really not that overwhelming but for some reason I just can't handle it now.

(1) The Stepmother. I realize whatever went on last week is over now, but I still am always checking my e-mail, waiting for a message from Sissa saying that she's yet again responded like the witch she is. Perhaps I am just way too overprotective over Sissa, or maybe I just can't let some things go.

(2) Kenya. So I've been avoiding posting about this until I made a decision but here's the problem with that: I suck at making decisions. I've said it before and I'll say it again. My friend Syano (who is in my program here at the University of Bristol) has invited me (and hence also Jonty) to stay with his family in Nairobi over spring break. My first reaction was YES YES YES! And I started making plans. My mom told me that I should take the opportunity if I wanted to, and she even sent me a bit of extra cash. Then I freaked out about my dad, knowing he would disapprove. I know most people would say, "I'm an adult, and if he doesn't like my decision, too bad!" But the thing is... I don't completely disagree with him. On Sunday we had a huge conversation about it, and it ended with him saying that I should do it but that I should keep in mind that I need to at some point take it easy, especially with money. I really appreciated that he understands that I'm trying to be conscientious and that I've thought about it enough to have made an informed and conscientious decision. But now that I have "approval," I'm still iffy. I think the main reason is that Jonty and I have so many other plans, and I'm afraid that Dad will disapprove of those plans. And I think I'm afraid that he'll disapprove because I do too, in a way. I promised Jonty I would go on holiday with his family this summer, and we plan to go to Berlin with my German housemate Michael, and we plan to visit his sister in Brighton, and my mom wants me to go speak to someone in the Philosophy Department at University of Edinburgh. And I think maybe I'm overdoing it, especially since I have no job. But, on the other hand, I'm incredibly worried that later on I'll kick myself for not taking the opportunity to go to Kenya and to stay somewhere safe and be taken around with someone I know. When will I ever get that opportunity again? Out alternative is to go somewhere in the Mediterranean and lay on the beach for a week. With all the (probably unnecessary) stress I feel at the moment, that sounds reallllly appealing. Ugghhh I don't know what to do. And I need to decide, like, yesterday.

(3) Philosophy. I feel like I'm grabbing in the dark. I've never really done philosophy this way, where I have to think up something to write about that's new or in some way different. I miss essay prompts! And especially with an Essay Unit (where I can write on whatever I want, with a supervisor) and a Dissertation coming up, I feel so lost! I had one idea, and a meeting with one of my professors earlier today told me that basically that's not going to work. While he was very helpful, I realized that all I really have at this stage is the fact that I want to write about Plato, and probably an early dialogue. And now I just need to read more Plato, pick a couple of interesting arguments/themes in his works, and read a bunch of secondary literature. In other words, I'm starting from scratch. I know that's what I'm here for, but I feel like other people here are more on the ball. They have defined interests, and topics they want to write about. All I know is that I want to write something. I feel like I'm really not cut out for academia, and I'm just trying to get through this until I'm done. Which is completely the opposite of my views on life: I try to embrace and enjoy every experience. But I'm having trouble at the moment.

Do you think I should go to Kenya? How do you cope when you're overwhelmed?



  1. OMG you definitely need to go to Kenya! While I can appreciate the money worries, the thing is, its just money. In the end, you have an opportunity to go to KENYA and with locals so you will see the REAL Kenya.

    Go to Kenya! You never know what you might find, but you know that you will never forget it.

    The other stuff will work itself out. Just breathe.

  2. Ooooh, so, so many fun options! As not quite the traveler, I would say go to Kenya as well. But also somewhere sunny in the Mediterranean sounds so lovely. I think you should take a long hot shower! (and then maybe watch some bad, guilty pleasure TV).

  3. Hey baby girl, I hope you get a second to breathe. You have every valid reason to feel overwhelmed right now! That's a LOT to digest!!!

    You have so many things pulling you in many different directions. It sounds like you don't have the chance to sit with yourself quietly and see what answers come to you. Too much going on.

    My thoughts? Honestly? I think you should take the Kenya trip. When we talked you sounded very passionate about going to Africa. Sometimes the greatest things happen during a shot in the dark and with a leap of faith. You may not know how things will turn out for you on this decision, but it sounds like you have a cushion to fall on with the support of your parents. That's very nice.

    On the other hand, your other options sound very appealing too :) But you did light up when we talked about Africa, so I'm nudging towards that one *wink wink*

    Good luck with your paper...seek out a little more guidance, be confident in the great scholar that you are, maybe seek out some help from your peers/classmates and you'll get some more inspiration for your paper in no time :)

    Much love...


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