The past weeks have been difficult. It has been one thing after another beating my psyche down - and I wasn't doing too well to begin with.
As if our financial situation wasn't difficult enough, we got a bill from New York State for $1400. Apparently I miscalculated the taxes we owed; a mistake that stems from having income and having to pay taxes in multiple states. I am not sure how we are going to manage to pay that, but I've added it to the pile of bills that are suffocating us.
Then came news that one of my best students tried to commit suicide. I already wrote about that, but it hit me pretty hard. It turns out that she is ok. I talked to her mother, which was very difficult as she was crying and freaking out. I know that there is only so much I can do, but the feelings of helplessness remain.
As I was to begin my weekend, hoping for a break from it all, I got an email telling me that I was not awarded a Fulbright for next year. That application was one of the few things I had been optimistic about - wrongly so, apparently. I had gotten a bad vibe from one of the people who interviewed me via Skype. She seemed resentful that I had arranged to teach at a private university (one that many consider snooty) and not at la UNAM. I have nothing against teaching at la UNAM, however, I chose La Ibero because that is where my network of contacts led me to. It also seemed to be a good fit. Oh well...
I am still waiting to hear whether I get sabbatical or not. It's a bit moot, since I really can't afford to go to Mexico without the extra financial support. A colleague told me that if I get the sabbatical, I can postpone it for a year. So maybe I can re-apply and go next academic year. If I reapply, I will probably apply for some other grants as well and apply to be in some place other than Mexico City.
As I was wallowing in this bad news, I heard that one of my mother's dogs, Zena, passed away. She was a very sweet dog, one that Zeus spent a year with when we were in Italy. It also brought home the fact that Zeus is pretty old. There are daily reminders: his back hips are slouching more and more, he has accidents in the house several times a week, and he is going deaf. Zena's passing just brought it all into focus.
On top of this all, it has been a long and cold winter that is sapping me.
I feel overwhelmed and lost. I have lost all optimism. So even when spring arrives, I feel like I will still be drowning in the debts and problems I face, with the tentacles of even more issues grasping at me from the depths to drag me down even further. I'm looking for a lifeline, but I can't find one.