Where in the hell am I?

August 27, 2008

So now what?

Filed under: aimlessness, completion, ennui, past, thesis — John @ 3:29 am

I’m trying to decide if the best song to use as the theme for this is Slack Motherfucker by Superchunk or I Don’t Know What to Do With My Life by The Buzzcocks.
I finished, almost two weeks ago. I graduated last Monday officially, although my status hasn’t changed online and I don’t get a diploma for a few more weeks. My mom was here for the weekend that I was done, and she took me out to dinner at The Belmont to celebrate (by the way, very good food and a nice atmosphere and not all that expensive for what it is. Try it!). We also went to Dan’s for a get-together and a birthday party for some co-workers. Since then, I basically spent a good week working, drinking beer and watching the Olympics until bedtime. I played some video games. I did go to Dan and Chad’s for dinner and some movies, which was good because I think I was needing some company but was not making the effort. I also have finally peeled myself off the couch/computer to work out a couple of time.
Not having something to do, even though I spent a LOT of time not doing, feels uncomfortable. I’m almost chafing at the feeling of freedom, missing the little feeling of guilty mischief I felt doing things that weren’t my thesis. A part of me wanted to go on an epic drunk, like I always thought I would do back in college when I was really into Barfly. I can’t exactly say why I didn’t, except that I think I was feeling too much ennui to do it.
I think part of the problem is that Tina has been gone since I’ve finished. I think having someone around to talk to makes you feel like you’re doing something even when you’re doing nothing. I guess there’s also more things to do when you have someone to do them with.
It really would have been nice to be out in the field right now, but I’ve been office bound. Unfortuntely, now that I have the advanced degree (and I’ll soon be turning in official change of status forms and bucking for a raise/promotion) I’ll be spending more time in the office writing and less time in the field digging. Maybe not, they’re going to be pulling me out of TxDOT soon, which means I can go on multiple week projects again. I missed out on a lot of money because of the TxDOT gig this summer.
I realized recently (and maybe I mentioned it here before) that in many ways I’m almost back where I was 5 years ago: working all day staring at a computer in a windowless cubicle. One of the reasons I love archaeology so much is because it’s such a change from that soul-sucking existence. It’s certainly a hell of a lot better sitting at a desk at SWCA working on a report and getting a co-author credit than it was sitting at the Texan slapping together ads. But it’s almost like a phantom limb. Sometimes I get a sensation of something that’s no longer there, but I still feel it very deeply.
That’s where I stand right now. I’m sure I’ll figure something to do before too long. I also hear I might be back in Oklahoma next week. Who would have thought I’d be excited about the possibility of going to Oklahoma!



  1. Let’s start that book club! That will give you the deadlines and obligations that you crave…

    Comment by Spacebeer — August 27, 2008 @ 1:55 pm

  2. You could always try to publish your thesis….

    Comment by Colleen — August 28, 2008 @ 2:06 pm

  3. 1. get degree
    2. …
    3. profit!

    Comment by mybloodyself — August 29, 2008 @ 7:34 pm

  4. Hey-
    Like the blog. Wish there were more archys blogging to comisserate with.
    Had to say I like what you said about the phantom limb. Perfect! That is exactly the feeling of (very small) school breaks, or of finishing big stressful projects.

    Comment by BMathews — September 1, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

  5. time for new post!

    Comment by Lei-Leen — September 27, 2008 @ 4:29 am


    Comment by Colleen — October 1, 2008 @ 6:33 pm

  7. Hi,

    My name is Bunmi Ishola and I’m a graduate student at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. I’m part of the Magazine Publishing Project, and we are working on a cool science magazine, for the average person, with a snarky, irreverent tone. I found your blog and was wondering if you had any ideas for good stories, especially regarding archeology. Topics, finds, interesting information/facts that could be made into a fun, but informative piece for a mainstream audience.

    I’d appreciate any help you could give me.


    Comment by b-ishola — October 6, 2008 @ 3:24 am

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