Forbes published a survey of the most stressful jobs. Professors were on the bottom of the list. All my academic friends started freaking out on facebook. But we work! We publish! We’re under stress! One of my friends said that she was tired of businesspeople thinking that being a professor was a worthless job.
The top of the list was soldier in combat, firefighter, and police officer. No one tries to kill me in my job. This is something I feel no small amount of gratitude for. I told someone who works with his hands that I had to go off to work. “Yeah, work,” he scoffed. And I went inside and sat down at my computer to work, and felt bad. (Guilt is a choice I am all too susceptible to.)
Today was going to be my writing day. I was going to power through the hatred I had toward my current section and polish it up enough to send it abroad to be critiqued. No one needs another voice to tell them that their writing doesn’t matter. Especially when the other voices are right. But not completely right.
My job is not life-or-death. I do not work outside in all weathers. I am privileged to be sitting here writing. I have a house, food, heat, and a dog, not to mention a cat and a husband. Gilding the lily. But I’d make a shit-assed carpenter. I’d be a sucky receptionist. I’m a mediocre, if friendly, waitress. I am choosing to sit at this goddamned computer and to get some goddamned work done. Everyone else can fuck off.
Not you guys, you can stay.