Starting Over. Way, way, over.


Hello, lovelies! It’s been too long! Neglected blog is neglected! My intention when I started my new alt-ac position (over 6 months ago, now!), was to continue to document my transition into the land of para-academia. As you can tell by my lack of posts, this has not quite worked out–for a couple of reasons. At first, I was just really tired. Really, really, tired. That’s the thing about adjusting to a 9-to-5 schedule–it’s strangely exhausting. This is especially true for people like me who have an internal clock that is at odds with a day job lifestyle. I often spend Friday nights crying in exhaustion like a toddler. That part really sucks. I try to remind myself that this exhausting job is the reason I own a lovely home to tired-cry in, instead of my old, crappy, paper-thin walled grad student apartment. This is not 100% comforting.

More importantly, my newish job is at one of my previous graduate institutions. Since I’m only pseudo-anonymous here, it’s simply too risky to post any machiavellian details about my plan to take over the university office politics or minor cubicle rants. I am, however, going to be a contributor to a fab new ebook about post-academic life that fellow post/alt-ac bloggers JC, Lauren, Jet, and Currer are putting together in conjunction with their new site, How to Leave Academia. My soon-to-be-written essay will focus on day-to-day life in an alt-ac job and feelings and stuff. Maybe some advice? I’m not sure yet.

So what’s left for Dr. Emergency to write about if she isn’t busy either job hunting or wandering the streets of European cities in the throes of an existential crises? I wasn’t entirely sure until this weekend when I signed up for both a) piano lessons and b) an online computer programming course, and realized that the bike riding, ballet dancing, and foreign language learning haven’t been entirely about boldly pursuing hobbies I didn’t have time for as an academic. As I was joking with my partner about how we won’t be able to send our kids to camp or drive them to soccer practice because mom will be too busy with all her lessons and activities (I had just proclaimed that I wanted to go to Adult Ballet Camp), I became conscious of the fact that I have been revisiting a great many youthful pursuits as of late. Because, you guys, WHAT IF I MISSED SOMETHING? I am completely serious. I pursued one thing I really liked and was really good at through 1/2 of college, a master’s program, and a doctoral program with the single-mindedness that earning a Ph.D. necessitates. Now I do not have a job doing that thing! That thing I did exclusively for over a decade to the detriment of all other life skills, I no longer do, and will likely never do again. What the hell? What if I picked the wrong thing? Should I have taken the path more traveled? Probably! There’s a reason some paths are more popular. They probably have nicer views and a better 401K at the end.

I know what you’re thinking, dear reader: that there is no way to know, that we wind up with the life we have, or [insert platitude here]. This is nonsense. Of course there’s a way to know. I will simply revisit old pursuits . . . and blog about it. Maybe something will click, maybe it won’t. Don’t worry, I will also continue to try legitimately new things. Like eating breakfast, and wearing business casual attire on a daily basis. It’s going to be okay; we’ll figure this thing out together. Now, don’t get me wrong. My current job is perfectly fine, and pays well, and my business card reads, “Dr. Literary Emergency.” I like my job, but I do not love it. Let’s see if we can fix that, shall we?

2 Comments on “Starting Over. Way, way, over.”

  1. Jet says:

    Thanks for your reference to the new How to Leave Academia website and the nod to our blogs. I am looking forward to hearing more about your new-ish experiences in the alt-ac job as I have also transitioned into the alt-ac world – and also at the institution where I studied for the PhD. Some funny conflicting feelings arise there. I would be interested to hear about the things you like and dis-like about the new job. I wonder, as I get older, will I ever ‘love’ my job, or is liking it very much (for what it allows me to achieve at work and outside of work) just good enough?

  2. anthea says:

    I’d agree with Jet in being curious about what you like and dislike about your new job….also wonder what does Jet mean when she uses the phrase ‘good enough’ to refer to something.

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