At the Crossroads

If you follow me on social media elsewhere, and you’re tired of listening to me whinge about institutional academia and all, this is not the post for you.

Let the Whinging Commence

Actually, I don’t really think it’s whinging, so much as just taking stock of things here at the crossroads between continuing on as a researcher and just walking away. On the plus side, I’m mostly on the other side of WHY WILL NO ONE HIRE MEEEEE for the year (it’s cyclical, my psychiatrist and I decided; comes around about the time job announcements start cropping up and employed academics start talking about the classes they’ll be teaching). On the other hand, I’m currently spiraling (as much as my medication will allow) in a vortex of feeling stupid and unworthy – the whole imposter thing.

Since I’m mostly between projects right now (waiting to hear on a couple of proposals, still one outstanding thing I need to get done, but which has joined the small pile of laundry that needs to be treated before it can be washed in the box labeled “things that are easy to accomplish but have taken on a looming impossibility in my head”), I keep wondering if the universe is telling me to just get out of academia altogether. It doesn’t help that all of this is coming at what I hope is my very last Very Special Time in a Girl’s Life before death, since that colors it with a unique kind of despair, but I feel like the question is legitimate enough. They say that writing is an isolating thing, and that professional writers kind of accept it and keep doing what they do; but what about the writers whose books no one reads? Do they keep slogging away at it in their little writing caves, in the hopes that someone, someday will read their work, or do they decide they just don’t have what it takes and bail?

Also, my hair is almost completely white, and my children are 12 and almost-10. And I’ll be 51 next week.

Anyway… it may just be time to schedule an overdue appointment with my therapist, but the feeling that what little I have to say isn’t worth saying is strong this afternoon.

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