Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Health Care & The Crunchy Twenties

I don't know how I feel about health care. My gut says the government shouldn't be involved, but that's the idealist's point of view. Not useful when you're talking about health-care costs that have inflated at an astoundingly higher rate than, say, auto-repair costs have over the same period of time. I'm guessing. No supporting research, sorry.

At the same time, I HATE health-insurance companies. They give you the run-around by default because they bet you will stop hounding them to pay something before they give in and pay it. No research again. Personal observation only.

But I'm kind of in a pickle. I've been getting my health insurance through school -- and what a fantastic thing it is, having to clear EVERYTHING through the health center -- so each new specialist, each new test, I'm back in the health center saying, hey, permit this! Even if a doctor the health center referred me to refers me to the new thing. Fantastic.

ANYWAY, I've been getting my insurance through school but I'm kind of not feeling school right now. I just want to take a break, or maybe quit. I'm 6 classes away from my master's, and that means most people tell me to just finish -- but I don't think these people understand life.

So I'd take a semester off, take a breather, except for that health-insurance thing. So I looked online just to show myself how outrageously expensive it would be to insure myself *IF* some insurer decided to insure me (HAHAHAHAHA).

I don't know what the government will end up doing about health insurance, if anything, but despite all the Libertarianism within me, I hope they make health-insurance companies die. From vulvodynia.

As for school, I think as a grad student I only have to be enrolled in anything at all in order to get health insurance. Hello racquetball? There *is* one comp sci class I'm interested in, and I'll probably just end up taking that, but even one class seems too much right now. I need the clarity of mind that my incredibly simple life is giving me (and I am NOT taking it for granted!!!!). I go to work (wait tables), I come home and space out. All through it is internal conversation. And if I can choose this life, choose not to add anything, and if I'm okay here, and if I feel relaxed and calm and sometimes happy, and if I'm content, why would I change anything?

This is where the people who don't understand life drop their massive advice.

I wrote a while ago about A New Earth and Eckhart Tolle. He says that when you get past your ego, you'll start operating from your Being. Okay, in real-world terms -- when you stop doing things as a service to your identity ("I am a scientist," "I am an artist," "I am smart," "I am productive"), you'll start doing them with the will of your soul. And that's what I feel is happening to me. It's taking its time, but now I see how computer science serves my ego -- and that's why I'm rejecting it as a path.

---or, rather, I see how *school* serves my ego, and that's why I'm rejecting it. Because when I look back to when I was a kid, computer science was all a-flutter in my head back then, before I even knew what it was. Pretending I was programming, playing with DOS, making computer things in school -- I've *always* loved it. But school -- it's a choice of my ego, to show that I'm smart and capable, to get the degree, to be worth something. And it doesn't feel right anymore.

My problem has always been that I love too many things. I've always loved computers, but I've always loved art and music and writing and science. And I think part of finding the way forward is, for me, completely destroying everything that came before -- so I can do things in accordance with my Being and not my ego.

I took a look at my journal entries around when vulvodynia started. I expected to see multiple freakouts, but there weren't many. I know they were happening (in my office with the door shut crying to my parents on the phone! Up in the middle of the night terrified with throbbing pain!), but because I believed the pain would go away soon, soon, soon, was an infection, I was still writing about my job (and how I wanted to quit) and that boy (and how he was an ass) and my aspirations and my dreams and my ideas. The pain hadn't swallowed my head yet.

Now I know that all of my twenties -- due to mental illness and then mental illness compounded by vulvodynia -- has been a period of death, of, as Eckhart Tolle puts it, contraction. And it's fine. And I shrunk down to the tiniest point I could manage, and I'm still here. And that's how it has to be in order to grow again: utter loss. And just like the Universe -- expanding and contracting, some theorize, Big Bang after Big Crunch after Big Bang after Big Crunch -- when I grow again, parts of me may not return. There may be no zebras this time, or no Earth, or no stars, or no quarks. But you can't fight death. You just have to accept it, for as long as it goes on.

This Ace of Base song captures it perfectly. Or actually not at all. Maybe a little.

P.S. What does it mean that my cat puked on my spacetime book?

1 comment:

  1. well, you know that grad school pays off iin the end. everyone does and that's why everyone is telling you to stick it out.

    6 grad classes is more than a fair amount of work. the last 6 aren't nearly as bad as the first six (my god the first six. do you remember?) but why do them if you don't have it in you.

    last time i checked, grad school isn't going anywhere. life, however, is.

    school will wait as long as you need it too