If This is Working Out For Me…Why Does it Still Feel Crappy?

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

The saga of my department continues. This morning I met with the professor I work for as a research assistant, and in addition to calming my worries about the office situation brouhaha that is going on right now, he gave me some amazingly good news: he has decided he needs a research assistant for the summer, and offered me the position. Job prospects where I live are very hard to come by in the summer, and in the interest of not taking out any more loan money, I’ve been rather desperately casting around for any job-related leads. This is pretty much the best situation I can possibly hope for – I can set my own schedule and work from home or my office on campus. The money will be enough to cover my rent and most of my expenses so I can avoid running up more debt on my credit card. I recognize how lucky I am to be offered this position, and I’m more grateful than I can put into words.

On the other hand, I now have an even bigger target on my back. I mentioned the situation to one of my closest friends in the department, who also works with this professor as an adviser. She instantly burst into tears, because (unbeknown to me) she had evidently asked for a similar position several months ago and was told nothing was available. I can’t imagine this professor telling her one thing and me another, and I’m sure the situation has changed since he talked to her. In addition, I’ve been working for him for more than a year, and I’ve done a good job. It’s very hard for me to see someone I care about so deeply hurt over something that both of us deserve. She would do an excellent job, and part of me feels guilty…like I’m taking it away from her. At the same time, I’ve worked hard for it, done my time in the less-desirable positions in the department, and I deserve the payoff of putting in that effort.

It’s hard when even good news hurts someone I care about. It’s hard for me to know what to do with that. After being isolated and not having the emotional capability to accept having close friendships for so long, it’s especially hard to be in a position that strains those relationships. I imagine this will be the major topic for therapy tomorrow…


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