I have managed to shelter myself fairly well from the ups and downs of life in general. Never been heartbroken, never had some schism with a former best friend, never stopped speaking to my family, never been fired, etc etc etc. Mine has been a placid, if slightly unusual, existence. And I think my chosen line of work allows that. It is hard to get heartbroken if you live in places where datable men are, to say the least, thin on the ground. It is unlikely you’ll have a schism with any friends if you only see them once every year or two. Ditto on family. And as for getting fired, I change jobs and countries every year, nobody has had time to figure out my incompetence.
That said, I’m wondering how exactly one deals with these things in the field. As I understand it from Bridget Jones books and Meg Ryan movies, when one gets their heartbroken they are supposed to curl up in their jammies, take a sick day, eat a pint of ice cream, watch some ridiculous romcoms on TNT and have all their girlfriends come ‘round for a good whinging session about how much men stink or some equally clichéd topic then go out, have a wildly inappropriate affair with a movie star or the local rogue and then fall madly in love with the cute but shy next door neighbor who was there all along and live happily ever after.
But what does one do when one lives with one’s colleagues, so can’t exactly pull a sicky, there isn’t any power during the day to make the TV work and, anyway, no TV to watch the silly movies on, no ice cream, if your girlfriends do come ‘round, conversation will inevitably be more about malaria net distribution and the ridiculous indicators we are being made to report on for maternal mortality than the foibles of men, there are no local rogues to have an affair with that wouldn’t necessitate a course of penicillin after and, worst of all, the next door neighbors are all retired Dinka generals and unlikely to suddenly reveal themselves as the perfect suitor?
Am I to be denied my pathetic-girl-with-cats moment? Will I never get to experience the pure neurosis of the modern over educated girl who is pushing 30? I feel I’ve missed a milestone or something!