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in which i quit everything and exit, pursued by a bear

So my last post about being super depressed got lost in the git shuffle and that’s okay. This is the post I meant to write but have been struggling with for a month.

I also hope the Lisa will forgive me for borrowing her blog title but it was just too apt for this post.

I’m also amused by the category/tag that I have for this sort of thing ‘life as performance art’ because, well, this performance is over.

Just over a year ago, I mentioned that this was going to be an experiment in professionalism. My primary question was whether or not I could be unapologetically human and be a librarian at the same time. People who’ve been following me on twitter and been reading this blog will probably realize by now that the answer to this question is ‘no’. I cannot be human and a librarian at the same time. Unfortunately, this was not unexpected.

I’ve also been trying to do the ‘right’ things. I published my first article this year. I gave a talk at a conference and attended another. I’ve been networking. I’ve been constantly growing and developing my tech skills. I’m a much more ‘credentialed’ and capable librarian than I was when I finished school. Shit, I’ve even been developed my cover letter/CV/resume skills such that I’m much more likely to get a call back now, than when I started looking for a FT professional position three years ago.

But I’m still working my at York in a part-time contract position. A job that I do love and was thrilled to get just finishing library school because it was (and is) a great entry level position. It was also in subfield I wanted to be in (library tech) and the job has allowed me to grow in my knowledge and develope many skills I wouldn’t have without it. Pretty much the only thing I’m not quitting at the moment is this job. I’m keeping it. It’ll have the distinction of being my first and last job as a librarian (unless a miracle happens and a full time position opens at MPOW).

I’m going through major depression right now. I spend a good portion of my day trying to not kill myself. I don’t have the heart or motivation anymore to apply at jobs I’ll never get. Likewise, I also don’t have the motivation to keep doing uncompensated work in the hopes that this social/cultural capital will result in a job at some future point. And the added stress and anxeity of all these commitments isn’t doing my health any good.

I’m going to do my best to gracefully withdraw from these activities, so if I’m involved in some sort of project with you, you should expect an email from me (or my partner) in the near future. Whether or not I withdraw will depend on the timing. Anything happening longer than a month from now will probably be dropped. I’m considering each project/activity on its own.

My choice right now is between trying to sustain an unsustainable level of activity and involvment or die. Despite being depressed, I still want to live (mostly). And so I choose life.

Unfortunately, part of choosing life, for me, is finally admitting that my career, such as it is, is dead. Or rather… was never really going to happen at all. Whichever. Likewise… since it is impossible for me to be both human and a librarian, I choose my humanity, such as it is.

I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do about twitter… I’ll probably stay on it so long as I still have a library job of some kind. And certainly long enough to make sure the wonderful people I’ve met on twitter know how to contact me.

And for all that librarianship isn’t something that I can do, I’m so happy and incredibly grateful to all the amazing people I’ve met in the field. There are so many of you that I truly care about and I’m so fucking happy that you are all working and doing amazing things because you’ve given me so much hope and optimism (and support). Please keeping doing as you do and keeping being yourselves.

I hope everyone has a great new year and, well, a great life (if this happens to be the last time you hear from me).

Be well and take care.