It remains to be seen if the world needs another blog about a humanities graduate student who abandons the academic ship. There are lots of good ones out there. I know because I’ve read them, hoping to feel less alone in taking this plunge. And that has helped. So while the world may not need this, I think I might. It turns out that this is hard work, folks. And I think my friends are getting bored of my constant, cyclical ranting. So I turn to this format as a way to make me polish my thoughts, find coherence, and externalize the things that my brain obsessively clings to. Along the way, if anyone else finds it useful, or familiar, or inspiring, then that is a pretty big bonus. And perhaps this could become a community space, which would be great as well. Or no one will ever read this and I’ll delete it in a month. The possibilities are endless!
So, now for some basic information. I’m finishing a Ph.D. in December. I went on the job market last fall. That did nothing, really, except drain my energy and bank account. But it also made me actually think about the future. I was talking about possible jobs to a (my only) non-academic friend, who said that it must be exciting. He said that all of the medical students he knows hate med school but think it’s worth it when they get to be doctors. And about two days after that, I talked to a prof friend who was putting together a tenure file and was having the worst time of it, not because she’s not a brilliant shining star of an academic – because she is – but because of horribly fucked up administrative and departmental politics that punish faculty who are from or working in marginalized communities. And then I realized, it’s unlikely to get better after graduate school. In fact, it’s likely to get worse.
I expect there will be many posts about why graduate school did and didn’t work for me, and why academia no longer seemed like a sustainable option. I also expect that there will be posts about my queer political musings, yoga (to which I owe what sanity I have at the moment), my long distance relationship with my fabulous academic partner, and that teeny tiny question of what on earth I am going to do with myself now. And my dog, probably, because I cannot not talk about my dog.
But for now, who better to inaugurate a blog on finding and following your dream than Freddie Mercury. I like to imagine him sometimes in a golden walk-in closet surrounded by spandex jump suits with plunging neck lines, contemplating the color that best showcases his sexiness. This man did not settle. I think I’ll follow his lead.