Coming Out Into The Sun…

If you’ve been following this blog, you probably know very little about me. I have been keeping a low profile, which is strange for me since I’m usually an “over shearer”. I think hiding in the intertube’s shadows has been a reflection of my emotional state. Unable to accept my life; or to accept that I am alive. Afraid of being rejected if anyone found out who I am. (It’s not that I’m particularly “bad” or anything, it’s just that I’ve been rejected many times in the past). It’s been rather important for me to not be rejected in the intertubes, since the people in it are practically the only ones I interact with. It’s also the case that in the intertubes I’ve found the closest thing to a place I feel I belong to.

I have recently made a commitment to stay on this planet. In short: to live. This means accepting my life and moving to change it; being open and honest. And learning to accept rejection. In order to do this, I am going to reveal who I am. I hope it helps me.

[Don’t worry if you don’t understand any of this. Read if you are interested in my humble story.]

My real name is Maria. I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on the 25th of May, 1983. This means that, much to my dislike, I’m currently 25 years old. I’ve had depression for as long as I can remember. It seems like I am slightly better now, but it could be a false alarm; there have been some in the past.
When I was 20 I moved with my family to Barcelona, Spain. After 6 months I moved to St Albans, England, UK to study Astrophysics at the University of Hertfordshire. Four years later, I (somehow) graduated. Because I had run out of money, I had to come back to my parents’ in Barcelona. I descended (further) into a depressive black hole out of which I am barely coming out today.
My nationality is both Argentinean and Spanish. I am a “Latina” for the USatians and a “Spaniard” for the UKazians. So I would define myself as “white”, but not “white enough”. (In case anyone wonders, I was conceived after the Malvinas/Focklands war ended).
I want to be a writer/(f)artist one day. (Oh noes, not yet another young feminist who wants to be a writer!). I know it will be particularly difficult for me since I write in English, which is not my first language. But I don’t care.
Part of the reason why I fell into depression for so long was because I had spent 4 years studying a course that will not lead me nicely to a stable job. I cannot work as an “astrophysicist” unless I spend another 10 years studying and get a PhD and two post docs all before retiring. I feel like I’m back to square one; only with considerably less money and more years on my back.
I don’t have much idea of what I’m going to do with my life, whether I’ll be able to survive as a writer or even as a feminist. But I’ve made a commitment to stay on this planet, and I’m planning to stick to it.
Some months ago I (somehow) found a job. It turned out to be Hell on a stick but it has allowed me to save money to return to the UK. And that’s going to be my next move.

(more to come)

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22 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Level Best said,

    OK, marytracey, my mouth is hanging open because I never imagined from your writing that English is NOT your first language! I had assumed you were a British or Canadian writer living in Spain–and for perspective on my linguistic judgment, know that I have a master’s degree in English literature (4.0 GPA in grad school)! I am “all amazed” as characters in my beloved pre-1900’s classics would say.

    As for depression, it is hard for intelligent people, much less intelligent female people, not to be depressed in this unfair, violent, sad old world. Its not the sort of place that makes folks with triple-digit IQ’s merry. I myself have fought depression (well-earned depression, but I won’t catalogue all the contributors) throughout my life and currently am lobbing Paxil at it in self-defense. And my former physician once inquired as to how my “anxiety disorder” was doing, so in at least one clueless male professional’s opinion, I have a case of the “jumps” to go with the “dumps”. But at age 55, I am so happy with all that I have achieved not professionally but as a thinking, acting, responsive person. In 30 more years, marytracey, I hope that you will know and love your heart of gold. Money is most definitely not the yardstick.

    As long as you blog, I will read you and hope the best for you!

  2. 2

    Level Best said,

    And, “its” above was supposed to be “it’s.” Typo, not a “thinko.”

  3. 3

    citywood said,

    Wait, what?! A radfem who’s skin doesn’t quite match her ivory tower?? :O

    Anyway, I totally get the fear of rejection etc. And I’m going through major depression as well and it seems to be getting better. So, I guess I don’t really have much to say, but wishing you the best.

  4. 4

    thebewilderness said,

    That is a very tough commitment to make. I made it myself nineteen years ago. One of the first casualties was fear. Most notably fear of rejection.
    I hope it works out that way for you too.
    Best regards.

  5. 5

    marytracy9 said,

    Thank you so much, Level Best. That’s one of the nicest things you could have said to me! (How did you know I was blogging from Spain?)
    And thanks for sharing, I really appreciate it. I have anxiety too :D!

    Citywood I am most definitely NOT inside the Ivory Tower. (Don’t think I could stand it anyways). In fact, I don’t know if I’ll ever get a job that requires my uni degree.
    I too wish you the best. And thanks for understanding. 🙂

    Thebewilderness you hit on the nail. I am absolutely terrified. Paralized. Frozen.
    Thanks to you too.

  6. 6

    citywood said,

    Just trying to play w/ stereotypes. 😛 😉

  7. 7

    Polly Styrene said,

    Ditto what level best said. I am practically falling off my stool in amazement. Too amazed to say anything more sensible really.

  8. 8

    Polly Styrene said,

    NB my friend’s got a PhD in astrophyics and she’s a maths teacher.

  9. 9

    marytracy9 said,

    Come on, Polly! I couldn’t have left YOU speechless! 😀

    I think you are the first person I’ve heard of who knows an astrophysicist!

  10. 10

    bonobobabe said,

    Sheesh! Your English is awesome for it being your second language. Hell, that previous sentence is terrible sounding, and English is my native tongue. How fucked up is that?

    Anyway, I think being closer to your parents might be doing it. I was seriously depressed several years ago when I got a job closer to my family. Then I moved across the country and I perked up. I don’t mean to be flippant. I am serious. It did me a world of good.

    Depression comes easily to me, which is why I expressed great fear on the radfem message board about my possible new job duties. I worked hard to make my life into something I can stand to live. Feminism aside, there is a mental health reason why I am not married, have no kids, etc. I know that life would depress me to no end.

    Good on ya! We’ll all be rooting for you!

  11. 11

    Polly Styrene said,

    My friend’s first degree was in maths, but she did her PhD on comets. And she fiddled her data to make it fit. But seriously there is demand for any kind of science teachers – if you could stand it.

  12. 12

    Lindsay said,

    (I also posted this comment on Crazy Like Us?, but I thought I’d reproduce it here to make sure you saw it).

    Maria, I also agree that you’ve got a lot of interesting things to say (verbally and graphically).

    I have a lot in common with you, personal-story-wise: I love science, I have one degree in science (biochemistry, in my case; although astrophysics is awesome too!) and another in literature. In the years after graduating college, I’ve found I will probably never work in my field. I can’t get hired at an entry-level job, and have no foreseeable way to make enough money to save for all the additional schooling I’d need to really pursue a scientific career. I became depressed before all this came to light, though, and I made the commitment to live about halfway through college.

    I also have several friends who combine art and science in their lives: one woman with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree worked as a scientific illustrator before going back to school to become a veterinarian, and another woman, in my same class in college, got degrees in physics and theater and wrote a play about a gamma-ray burst as her senior project.

    A random question: is there a reason you choose English rather than Spanish as your language to write in?

  13. 13

    Lara said,

    Good for you, Maria, that you have decided to live on this earth. That is a damned tough thing to do, and it shows strength on your part to acknowledge that life is worth living. I can somewhat relate to the stress and depression you are experiencing: I am planning on going to graduate school here in the states to get my PhD in Art History and I am absolutely terrified not only because I don’t know exactly what will happen, but also because I cannot afford school at all. A lot of folks go through these financial crises with university, so I feel you.
    I had no clue you were studying Astrophysics! That’s so neat! What is it that got you into the field? What is it that you love (or even dislike) about it? Now I am all curious 🙂
    I know it might sound cliched at first, but do whatever really just makes you happy, Maria. Because in the end, all you have is your heart, your mind, your experiences, and your lasting relationships with others. Those are the things that really count. And if studying/not studying or whatever it is you do or don’t do makes you genuinely happy, just do it.
    My email is r y c h o u s m a m a at aol dot com in case you ever just want a listening ear.

  14. 14

    Lara said,

    without the spaces in the email, of course

  15. 15

    atheistwoman said,

    MT I’m very happy for you for making that choice. I too recently had to make that choice, also after what seems like a lifetime of avoidance and depression. It’s rough to come out of the shadows and the dark, but it reaps it’s own rewards. I just tell myself again and again, vida vida vida.

    And woah on the astrophysicist bit…that is impressive.

    also, cheers from a fellow Mary (Marie/Marita is my middle name) (tis hard out there for those of us named after the Virgin*). Consequently, I’m pretty sure the Mary’s of the world are in the majority. Off topic though. Hem.

    *Although I also take pride in also knowing that it’s root is also “Sea.”

  16. 16

    atheistwoman said,

    wow, and that second it’s should be of course “its.”

    Also, writing is power, never forget it.

  17. 17

    marytracy9 said,

    “I think being closer to your parents might be doing it”

    BBB, do you have cameras inside my house? LOL! That is a very accurate picture!

    PS: I hope job problems get better. Who knows, maybe this will turn into a new opportunity for you! (I’m sorry if I’m being too positive, but either I fool myself into hoping for the best or I’ll paralyze and die)

  18. 18

    marytracy9 said,

    Hi Lindsay. I’m so sorry I couldn’t reply to you sooner. I wanted to, I really did! But your comment (along with others) got stuck in the queue, so I could read it but not approve it. Never fear! I now have comment approving powerz so you can all comment away as much as you like :D.

    “I’ve found I will probably never work in my field”

    I’m sorry to hear that. I’m amazed you cannot find a job with two degrees!
    It’s the exact same thing with me. I wonder how many of us are out there? Maybe I could write a book about it, similar to “Bait and Switch”, but from the perspective of our generation. Maybe we’ll be the first to build something great away from our daily jobs?

    As for your question, I honestly have no idea. I think English feels less formal and therefore more like me. Which is ironic because I write in very formal English, probably out of fear people will think I stink. But hey, I’m not done yet trying to find my voice.
    One thing is clear, though. If I ever write something worthy, I will translate it to Spanish and try to get it published so that more people will have access to “Teh Truth”.

  19. 19

    marytracy9 said,

    Thanks for your comment, Lara.

    “to acknowledge that life is worth living”

    I… I don’t know if I’ve gone so far as to acknowledge that life is worth living… yet. I hope it is!
    You too are getting a degree you can’t afford that will not land you a job? This book idea is making more and more sense by the comment(er). 😛

    As for what got me into Astrophysics… well, I’ve always liked science. And wanted to study something far, far away from this planet (see the link?). Now I’ve stopped running away and will focus on write about what goes on in this planet.
    What do I love about Astrophysics? The subject itself; the physics, the universe, the stars, how everything works. What do I hate? The academic “system”. And the hardness of the concepts, though that can be worked out.

    I wish I could do what makes me happy, the problem is that I haven’t found it out yet! I think feminism and general leftism make me happy. I spend all day obsessing about it, so I must like it at some level! 😛

  20. 20

    marytracy9 said,

    Thanks, atheistwoman.

    “I too recently had to make that choice”

    Congratulations! Yay for us for continuing in this world despite its darkness!

    “tis hard out there for those of us named after the Virgin”

    Indeedy, especially in Latinamerica, where the catholic church has so much fricking power over people. “Maria” must be the most popular female name over there!
    And you must be right, “Maria” must come from “sea”. “Mar” is sea in Spanish 😉

  21. 21

    atheistwoman said,

    *Although I also take pride in also knowing that it’s root is also “Sea.”

    I wrote that tired all right. Hides in shame of three “also’s” in one sentence!

  22. 22

    Rain said,

    Awesome MT, you’ve done so much! *hugs*
    I too studied the sciences a long time ago, but switched sideways in the middle to a biochemistry/molecular genetics major, but my two closest women friends IRL are engineers 🙂


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