I swear Jessica you are reading my mind on many parts of this post on worry and control.
I am endlessly thankful I did not wind up in higher education like I wanted. Education in general is a dumpster with all the trends of coddling and relying on failed systems of examination fire especially in Texas. Having a job for a few years might’ve been nice, but I feel that I am getting the best results by never teaching an extended six weeks, semester or year. I only ever substitute taught at 2 high schools and taught on semester at a tiny college.
I fear for the world of learning and education in the US. I guess my desire for a Ph.D. would be useless these days. Though, it is none of my concern as you say in this post. My circle of influence is mainly myself these days, and that is all can concern myself with.
Good advice on dealing with anger and brooding too. Therapeutic cleaning got me through many finals back in grad school.