It doesn't help that we're moving out of a spacious flat which we've loved living in, into a smaller house which has holes in every wall, has nothing you could actually use as a kitchen, and is currently so thick with plaster-dust and general grime that I can't envisage even standing in it, let alone sleeping in it. We wasted about 50 hours of our lives trying to clean the walls (which were greasy and grimy and stained with whatever the hell students manage to cover walls in) and now the house is dirtier than it was when we started. What a stupid idea that was. I look around the flat and I just want to cry; I don't want to move. I want to stay in a house which has hot water and a kitchen and floors and ceilings. If I'm completely honest, actually, I want to stay in bed in said house. Under the duvet. With a MAGIC KETTLE by the bed which generates cups of tea without being asked. And an endlessly replenishing stack of new Chalet School books that I've never read before (I'm particularly looking forward to "Chalet Girls go to the Moon" and "Joey Catches a Terrorist").
It also doesn't help that work is so stressful it's literally giving me ulcers, small white stress ulcers on the inside of my mouth all the time, a thing to worry at (and the metaphor became flesh). No, I'm not in some kind of terrifyingly high-powered city job, I'm in the floppy fringes of para-academia; but there is a lot to do, and not enough people who are actually doing any work there to do it. Personal relations on the team seem so strained that you can feel the skin stretching and tearing at the edges, and morale in the department is so low that we're thinking of shooting people at random to raise team spirits. A bit of adrenalin might help, I suppose. Our team leader tells me at least twice a week how much he hates everything about the job and everybody in the team, and just wishes it would all go away; he's relentlessly negative about everything except when he's telling me I shouldn't be so negative about everything. The department as a whole is sick; as a body politic, it's leprous and gangrenous and suffering from several serious psychiatric disorders. There's still a lot of good in there, which is why I'm staying, but it needs a serious shock to the system. Electrodes in places you didn't know you could have electrodes. I'm sure you're all thinking "Just get another job! Simples!" but I like the people (even the team leader who hates me) and I like the work. That's why it hurts when it's all so unhealthy. It's like being in the sort of relationship where you sit crying on opposite sides of the room rather than having any idea how to help each other. (I've probably already mentioned this but I'd drafted half a dozen resignation letters in my head before realising that half of them sounded like 'Dear John' letters and the other half sounded like suicide notes. For heaven's sake, get a grip.) I don't actually think I'm bad at my job (I'd say I'm about average: a bit more conscientious than average, and a bit less talented, so it all balances out) and I don't actually want to leave. I just... well, I guess (just like the boss) I wish it would all go away. I also wish the Web Fairies would come and do all my work for me in the night, and leave a big box of chocolates on my desk. (But not a pony. I have never wanted a pony.) Neither of these things is going to happen.
I don't know what to do. I keep starting sentences with "I wish" in my mind and realising that I don't know what I wish. While desperately shuffling the metaphorical deckchairs in an attempt to tidy the bedroom (still somehow full despite giving away about 100 items of clothing at the weekend) I found the silly sparkly tiara I wore for my wedding, and just burst into tears; I felt like everything good had gone, nothing left but bits of tin, and maybe all the good stuff was only ever bits of tin, fairy gold turned to stones in the morning and the handsome footmen turned back into small brown mice. I feel like I'm drowning in it all, the things, the words. I just want to float out to sea and not come back, like a paper boat. A boat, made of paper: what kind of a stupid idea was that, then, what kind of stupid dream.