I Ain’t Spartacus

I ran for my life.  I ran for the lives of my children.She and her children have been beaten, threatened, and terrorized, but they finally get up the gumption to move out and away from a monstrous spectacle of a husband. She finds her independence and, just like happens with all kicky gals in these scenarios, attracts a dream guy. After a few casual dates, he falls madly in love with her and asks her to move in with him. The lights are low, Meredith Baxter-Birney’s tear-filled eyes are glistening through the Vaseline-soaked lens as she squeaks out, “It’s just too soon.”

This Lifetime-movie moment is brought to you by…well, me. Because it’s me. This is how I feel at this very moment. Why?

I don’t know if this is true for all expats, but it’s certainly true for me: I want to go back home someday. I like it there. Really, I do. I just don’t know if I’m ready yet.

Long story short: I’ve been offered an opportunity that should be a dream. In fact, it was my dream. When I was finishing up my degree, this opportunity was quite literally the only thing that brought me back to the drawing table, since I had been told I would have to finish my damned PhD in order to attain it. (A quick aside to those in academia: Stick with it. As one friend on mine said, so truthfully, it doesn’t count as a real PhD unless you’ve seriously decided to quit at least twice.) This is what I’ve always wanted. Except I don’t know anymore if I do.

And so the stupid chick-flick metaphor has popped into my head, trying to explain away why I wouldn’t be jumping up and down and counting the minutes till I land in my hometown. I honestly do feel like an abused and tormented wife, one who finally got away from her abuser, and just isn’t ready quite yet to trust anyone else, no matter how dreamy, politically-speaking.

I’m just tired. I’m tired of being angry all the time, tired of constant disappointment, tired of being unable to joke about politics, since it’s All. Too. Dire. My activist self has been worn down, my battle cry has turned to disgruntled sigh, and I don’t know when I’ll be ready to trust in our government again to provide a good environment for me and my family.

In short, I’m still not over Bush and Cheney. The damage they did is still evident, and it still hurts. The rampant anti-intellectual fervor that grips large areas of the country, the fierce polarization at the cost of societal good, the fear-mongering and law-breaking and outright lying is still just too present. Schadenfreude at their fall from the public’s graces just wasn’t enough. I think I still need time. Or maybe this’ll do:


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