For a brief time, Aaron had a post up here last night. It was an interesting one. A (probably) booze-filled list of, what exactly? Regrets. Glimpses of scar tissue. Statements of fact. Flights of fancy. Grumblings and musings. Signs of depression. Bits of bullshit. Simultaneously all and none of the above? I don’t know. Part of me doesn’t want to touch it, since I never knew how to interact with Aaron on the old pp.com days. Often, he seemed so full of anger and venom, and swaggering as the self-appointed protector of the boards, that it was exhausting to even engage. Of course, it was occasionally fun to watch him unload on deserving numbnuts who posted inanities about religion and politics. But often, he would unload against the undeserving, picking fights just to pick fights. I recall that after my first (innocuous) post on pp.com, he launched a sustained attack against me that about drove me away. But he could also engage in some of the more lucid and productively provocative discussions that I witnessed on the board. And he tended to have the best music tastes among the regular posters.
But, as I said, I never knew which Aaron I was going to get when I logged in. And the Aaron that posted last night, was yet another version, though one I’ve caught glimpses of before. In it, he made a passing comment that graduate school ruined him (and then recanted that, claiming he was already ruined). But there is something to that. I endured some of my darkest, most depressed days while in graduate school. For multiple reasons and in various ways, the system is set up to crush your soul. When I was in my PhD program, my ladyfriend was also in graduate school and the effect on her was devastating. She too spiraled into a really dark place. And, in many ways, she became like the Aaron I described above. I recall that there were long stretches when I dreaded going home because I didn’t know which version of her was waiting for me there. It was exhausting dealing with her. It took us physically relocating out of the country to snap her out of it. Those were crappy times. Graduate school sucked ass. Which I guess is the only real point to this entire post: Don’t go to graduate school, it’ll ruin you.
Then again, I’ve got a sweet-ass career now. So maybe it was worth it. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll delete this post as well.