I have been struggling to write a post here for a few weeks. I’ve started about ten. Hypothetically, one’s campus might be quite quiet one day and then on national news the next, and then, hypothetically, one might get a little caught up in the aftermath of that, and try to write a bunch of posts about it, but then worry that those posts would get circulated beyond one’s limited readership and that naming said campus would blow one’s cover. Not that I’ve ever experienced that. I’ve simply imagined that this could be one reason for blog-neglect given the national coverage of some campuses lately.
But, fictional scenarios aside, I am no longer ABD. I am officially Dr. DustBiter, thank you very much. It’s been about two weeks. And I am only just now getting through entire hours without feeling like part of my brain is frantically flailing for something to focus on after it checks its dissertation to-do list and finds it blank. It’s a slow process. It’s made even slower by the fact that I’m in a holding pattern, waiting to find out where I’ll be living based on the Flying Buttress’s job search. This Dr. likes a plan and not having a plan makes me a little batty. Also, while I love the town I’m living in and would consider never leaving it (I am going to figure out a way to take my food co-op and yoga studio with me, I swear), it is a bit lonely lately. Most of my friends have moved away, most of the friends left are still in academia, and I haven’t felt particularly motivated to make new connections since I am so focused on getting out of here and starting the next phase of things. So, I’m waiting, and waiting does not make for a good blog post. But there are some little things happening. I have a few informational interviews lined up. I have found a volunteer opportunity that I’m excited about. I’m sending out a few applications to the most likely city of my future residence.
I also, in a bit of a fit, ordered a bunch of career/career-change books to feel like I was making some sort of headway in this whole process. I thought I would put up some posts about those, and what they are teaching me. The preview: I’m feeling more confident about what I want. I’m even considering (gasp) applying to one grad program for next year if things go the way I’m hoping they’ll go location-wise. But I still feel like I need convincing. I’m still stuck with this feeling that I’m going to make the wrong decision all over again, and I’m desperately flailing around looking for something that will make me sure.
But not today. Today, I am just checking in. There are painters outside making my house look pretty so that someone will buy it. And I am cleaning about 5 years worth of junk out of closets and drawers. And I am fantasizing about one of F.B.’s job prospects, which would mean moving to a location that I think most academics would run screaming from. But I grew up on a farm, and as much as I’ve learned to act like a city mouse, I’m a little excited about the prospect of wide open spaces and a minimal cost of living. Maybe in a year I’ll be all, Why did I ever think of being a therapist when I can raise goats? Which could mean all the free goat cheese I could eat. Wait a second, I think I’m on to something. . .