The String Theory and Preventing Depression

Back in the day, when I was a science nerd I did a ton of research on time travel. Okay, it wasn’t that much and it was for this project my AP Physics teacher offered for extra credit. Extra Credit + AP Student = Inevitable. The project was called “Teacher for a Day.” We were asked to pick a top in physics that interested us and had to give a 50 minute lesson. I’m realizing now that my physics teacher was a genius and got out of teaching about 10 classes. The spots for Teacher for a Day were limited and, of course, I was a hardcore AP student so I snagged one (I took 6 AP classes in one year, ridiculous. I was also in every club, hardcore band and drama geek– I would have Rachel Berry look like a cool kid).

Well, what I learned from my high school level research in time travel was that there are many different theories and the one that made the most sense to me was the String Theory.

I’m not going to go into a a big detailed explanation about the String Theory. Simply click on the Wikipediea article I’ve linked to above and  then come back and finish reading this. I’m an English teacher not a science teacher. I couldn’t explain my way around Mitochondria, inertia, or stoichiomtery (bleh chemistry blows). Basically with the String Theory (if I’m remember it correctly) there are many options for how your life can go (hence the strings) and when you time travel with the String Theory you can see the different “strings.” Also, one action in one string can impact another or all of the other strings–i.e.having a child.  I’m a little worried that if any physics people read this they might rip me a new one for how inaccurate this is. Whatever. I’m a writer, not a scienctist. There are plenty of reasons why medical school never panned out for me (cough cough:: 2.5 Cumulative GPA in undergrad) among other things (my inability to comprehend chemistry).

So why I am talking about this?

Today, as I applied for jobs that paid under ten dollars an hour and was spoken to like a moron at one of the retail outlets where I dropped off an application, I thought about the other directions my life could have taken. I look at my friends from college who live in New York, L.A., D.C.. and I think where the eff did I go wrong? Granted I have a wonder future FH and if life on another string didn’t include him, I’m honestly not interested. Still I wonder what my life is like had I pursued my dream to live life in New York City (oh no I’ve said too much) for awhile. Tough it out. Try the whole “life in publishing” thing. I never visualized myself wondering if I was going to be able to pay next month’s bills.

Well, who does?

It’s easy to tell people that they have to sacrifice and suffer before things get good, but I guess with facebook and things like that we don’t see our successful friends suffering. We only see them succeeding. God knows I don’t really like to post about how I cried my eyes out applying to be a freakin’ bank teller or a nanny or a–gulp–waitress. When I’m working full time, I’ll happily post a status that says, “I’ve got a full time job at Blank University” or wherever.

In the meantime, every time I apply for some crappy job –tomorrow I’m very likely to get a job as a waitress or hostess. Whatever. I can’t even buy gas or groceries–I get a little more depressed and wonder what if I’d become a band teacher, or what if I’d moved to New York, or whatever. It’s a very destructive way of thinking and frankly I blame my physics teacher for implanting the idea that the String Theory is actually possible and that wormholes are the key to time travel. Gosh darn it.

Seriously though, you can’t tell me that you haven’t ever wondered. Haven’t you?

I know there is no point in this wondering. I can’t go back and even if I could the grass is always greener…

Stupid cliches and how they are always right.

I guess, this suffering is good. Maybe it will make me a stronger writer. What do you think? Am I improving? Probably just more of a complainer.

As I think about how I feel like a crazy wanderer I’m going to end on a quote (something I vehemently tell my students NOT to do).

“Not all who wander are lost.” –Tolkien

God, I wish I could feel that way.

Yeah, I couldn’t end on quote. It would have killed me.





  1. Even though I have a full time job now, I felt this way the entire time I was getting my graduate degree. At least once a week I had an emotional breakdown either from being worn out from class, work, class, work or feeling inadequate next to friends who were buying homes, traveling and having babies while I had just enough money to pay for next semester’s tuition. And when I say work I mean being a TA or having a part time retail position. Even now that I have some resemblance of my dream job, we’re still scraping by financially trying to save money for that house while everyone else seems miles ahead of us. To be honest though, I think all of those “more successful” people probably struggled or continue to struggle just as much as we have. They just don’t post it on Facebook. They only post the happy news to show they’re doing very well. Facebook allows us to live forever at a virtual class reunion where everyone wants to show off how well their doing, not admit that they have extensive credit card debt to keep up appearances.
    Sorry that got so long. It’s something I feel very strongly about.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I read somewhere, maybe Newsweek, that there is a thing called “Facebook Depression.” While I don’t think I’m actually suffering from this, I mean the whole “virtual reunion” (you should collect royalties on that) is very true, but all people suffer. It would be annoying if people broadcast their problems. When they do (we all have at least one of those friends on Facebook), we get annoyed and hide them from our feed.

      It is comforting to know that I’m not the only one who is wondering how the eff I’m going to pay my bills. Although, I would never wish this life on anyone. FH and I are both struggling right now with our jobs and money and it freaks me out. We are going to be married in less than six months and there is so much pressure to buy a house, have kids, and all that American dream stuff. As much as I want to make little FH’s and little OMMFA’s, we cannot afford to.

      This response is turning into a post.

      Thanks for the support and comment!

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