totally real reader question no. 3

A not made-up Tabitha asks:

Are you a housewife now?

Sort of, temporarily.

In December I finished organic chemistry, which was my final prerequisite for nursing school. I'm now waiting for admission to the nursing program, which will happen officially in June. The program starts in August. That leaves quite a few unoccupied months.

Of course I feel a bit weird about this current status. To not have to work is a ridiculous privilege. It's one thing to be a stay at home mom, it's quite another to be a wife with a little poodle who chooses not to work, even just for a period six months. 

But I don't care! I have rooms to paint and books to read and I can go work out in the middle of the day and watch Crazy Ex Girlfriend before my husband gets home. Yes yes I cook a few dinners and I do some laundry and I keep the sink from getting disgusting. But more than that, in exchange for not shopping at J.Crew or having lunch out every day, I get to do whatever the fuck I want for six months.

If you would like to scold me in the comments, please also leave a book recommendation. So much free time!

on hillary and grief

The first moment I felt anything besides bracing fear or numbness was Wednesday afternoon, when Hillary gave her concession speech. The moment she mentioned girls and women, the reaction was immediate and visceral. The bone-deep grief that had been weighing down my limbs like lead finally began to melt, and I wept. 

I cried for the uncertain future. The loss of innocence and progress. And I cried for myself, because I am human. 

This is a grief I will never fully get over. It will be a lifelong companion, sometimes benevolently silent and sometimes barking at the door of my mind, not wanting in or out but wanting to be felt again. The election was deeply personal, an assault on half of America's values, and we were beaten. Not by better ideas, but by a cult of personality that admires dictators and the trappings of authoritarianism. A self-anointed billionaire messiah ready to singlehandedly "take back America" (from who?). 

I am not hopeful. I do not believe the dignity of the office will suddenly transform a narcissist into an empathetic leader. I believe this election is bad for everyone, even his supporters. I believe that "I told you so" will be little comfort in the next four years. But I am still bitter and inclined to be petty because that is the lesson at hand: that people on both sides who wanted to burn it all down won. Spite won. Retaliation won. Fear of others won.

Right now is just the pain of realization. The abstract hurt of looking into an unknowable void. But soon the pain will have names we can say and touch, and we'll have ways to react that don't feel like flailing at an ominous sky. For now, though, this is grief, and there is no timeline. 

I know what it is I am now experiencing.
I know what the frailty is, I know what the fear is.
The fear is not for what is lost.
What is lost is already in the wall.
What is lost is already behind the locked door.
The fear is for what is still to be lost.
— Joan Didion, Blue Nights

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