I felt very, very sad as we packed up the Thorn office yesterday. Despite my growing disillusionment and worry, what we had this year was a good thing. I’ve learned a lot about people and power-wielding and social dynamics that was only theoretical for me before. Very eye-opening. Very tiring, as well, even though it wasn’t quite tiring enough to send me scurrying back to only the technical aspects of the paper.
And it’s not just the Thorn that was being packed up yesterday. It was, in many respects, my freshman year. I’ve put a lot of energy into the Thorn this year, much to the pleasure of the higher-ups. After I moved my stuff back into my room, I found myself just sort of sitting here, wondering what to do now, as if I did something odd and different in the Thorn office when I was by myself that didn’t involve just surfing the Internet and reading news. As though I couldn’t just sit in my room and do the same thing.
It’s the typical separation issues of someone that tends to obsess. I do this everytime I fixate and am forced to take a break.
I’ve been able to skim through this year with (roughly) a 3.75 GPA (well, depending on how the chemistry grade comes out this term), and spend most of my time on the Thorn. I certainly didn’t obsess over NSBE this way–hell, they couldn’t have come up with enough work for me to do had I latched on similarly, and I don’t have the mental energy to do both with the same vigor.
The problem with this is that now that my grip has been loosened, I will probably not be able to reaffix it with anything but a shadow of my former strength unless I can take a different tack. This is just the way I operate. I see it in my old hobbies and interests, in academic interests, and in my interests in (read: geeky, stalker-esque fixations on) men. It’s not even that I dislike them after a while, or see new flaws in them–I’m just not interested anymore.
I used to envy those who can maintain a bit more balance in their lives, but I appreciate the fact that I can do a pretty good job at something by going at it hard, even if my stamina, if you will, is short. I do, however, envy those that have balance and do a damn good job. They just suck.
My initial thought was to be able to recharge during this month off. Shore up on social stuff, on geeky fun, and maybe even do a little scripting on the ol’ irrsinn dot net. Then come back with renewed energy for the Thorn. (School I always have [or make] energy for, so that’s not a concern.)
I don’t know that this will happen. Past experience shows that the odds are not in the Thorn’s favor on this one.
The question is, how okay with this am I? Supposedly, I’ve been set on a track for the editor-in-chief spot by those currently cursed with the position for most of this year, which could readily provide the “different track” for my interest. I’ve let myself be manipulated into a position where my self-doubt and fear of responsibility are heading into toe-to-toe mortal combat with my childish desire to please (and to not disappoint) and that subversive, sick desire for power. One side is playing the other and leaving me feeling like I’m on a rack. (Not that I’ve ever been on a rack, but the imagery is the key here.)
I want the editor-in-chief spot, and I’d be lying if I said right now that I didn’t. There are things I want to do. Things I think I can do, if I assemble the right team next year. I want to see if I can make things even better than they are now. I want the power to be able to publish something that has the Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs tell me that my staff just published the best issue he’s seen in the 27 years he’s been at Rose (which he said about the Hulbert issue, by the way). I want that so badly I plan for it in my sleep. There’s also a possibility for huge personal growth here if I jump on it–more than classes, research, NSBE, anything I’ve got in my palm right now can give me. I want it.
But I also don’t want to be the editor-in-chief under which the paper fails, or is only mediocre. I don’t want to be the EIC under which half the staff leaves because I can’t reign in my temper or manage the money or handle business when it needs to handled out of (believe it or not) a fear of being too bitchy. I don’t want to be the first EIC in remembered history in which an issue didn’t print. I don’t want to find myself facing serious censure from the administration because I made a shitty choice on a story to run. I don’t want to be voted out of office after only one year. I don’t want to disappoint anyone when (if) I fail to fully fill in the two pairs of size 13’s being left for me.
Why, yes, I do have issues with a desire to please. Who’da thunk it of the eViL Biz-natch, huh? Makes me ridiculously easy to manipulate, as is evidenced by my current predicament.
So this is turning ’round and ’round in my head, because unless some über-freshman comes along (or, I suppose a new non-freshman joins staff), the pickings seem to be slim for the Thorn, and it would take something pretty serious for me to leave them in quite such a lurch. Le sigh.
Time to finish packing and loading up the car. Then programming, then bed.