From zero to intense

“You go from zero to intense in a second”. Someone close to me told me that a few days ago. Which is true, it’s a flaw, among the great many others I have. I sometimes think it must be really difficult to love me. When I plunge myself into something, it is with total concentration, and I shut out the world and everyone in it. That’s pretty much been the case in the last week or two until I submitted my grant application (which is thankfully all done now). I don’t remember putting so much of myself into one project in a long time; it almost felt like the last few weeks of my PhD, when I would sit and stare at the computer at the end of the day and realise I haven’t eaten anything all day. This is probably not the healthiest way to go on living life, but this is how I do things, and I’m so tired of fighting myself. I think when you go through periods of relentless stress, you project this idea of calmness, structure and purpose onto other people’s lives that your own is lacking. I turn this into a pointless exercise of ‘what’s wrong with me?’ Only this time, as much as I was stressed, I didn’t feel as if anything was wrong with me; which makes for a nice change. Anyway, if you believe in karma, luck, or whatever, keep your fingers crossed for me.

A few other things ...

Thanks for the super enthusiastic response to my proposed book challenge. I’ve now created a badge and an ‘about’ page for anyone who wants to join. I’ve also named it the Women Writers Reading Group. If you have any questions, feel free to email me, but to answer a few I’ve already received: No, the books don’t have to be in English, and no, the reviews of the books most certainly don’t have to be in English either. One of the reasons I didn’t make this reading group country or language specific is because I want everyone to be involved. Also, this is not like a regular book club: I’m not going to prescribe to people what to read, or when to read it. You basically pick whatever you like and read it whenever you like.

And I’ll leave you with a few articles I’ve been reading. I’m too tired to comment on them myself, but I think they’re important, and should be shared:

* Steubenville: this is rape culture’s Abu Ghraib moment
* Steubenville and the misplaced sympathy for Jane Doe’s rapists
* Online threats against women aren’t trivial and don’t happen in a vacuum
* Off the battlefield, military women face risks from male troops
* Some of my best friends are women
* The scarcity of women in peace negotiations