Crazy Pants in the Archives

keep-calm-crazy-pants

Most of my professional circle does not know that I have major depression and anxiety.  I’ve had these lovely brain chemicals as pets since I was in elementary school, and they’ve continued to tag along to everything I do.  They’re like very creative and poorly trained dogs.

Unless you met me before 2006, you don’t know me without medication. I know many people see medication as something that dulls the mind and creativity.   I see medication as my way to actually live a normal life.  I don’t always freak out about going out with friends.  I don’t always spend my time convinced I am a failure.   I’m not always angry and frustrated with myself for this shit.   I still have those feelings but I don’t feel like dying about it 98% of the time.

I am more confident now.  I don’t apologize for what I like or think as much anymore.  I know I’m competent, despite occasional impostor syndrome.  Part of this isn’t meds, but rather a few years of therapy and self-help books.

To be honest, without some medication, I probably wouldn’t have made it through library school.  I probably wouldn’t have gotten a job.  I probably wouldn’t be here right now writing this.

That brings me to being crazy in the archives.  When I left my first archives job, I was convinced I didn’t want to do archives again, because I had felt so isolated from everyone both personally and professionally, despite the fact that archives are a good places for me to be.

Archives are filled with people.   Mostly dead ones, but I can’t hold that against them.  And as someone who goes in and sees archives as a world of stories to be shared, I think the best thing I can do professionally is share those stories, and occasionally help our students make them up.  The best thing I can do for my collections in the long run is to lower the ratio of dead people to live ones in the archives.

WE'RE A BUNCH OF GUYS DOIN' GUY STUFF

Analog Outreach!

 

For me, the quiet, sit in the basement archives experience isn’t for me.  Since that’s what I thought I wanted as a young whippersnapper, I am learning the skills to reach my community, in part because I’ve been the super crazy pants in the archives, and I know that’s no way for me to be.

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