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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Anonymity [20041112|02:50]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
This post was triggered by two events. My former postdoctoral advisors put up an ad for the position that I left on the Molecular Dynamics News mailing list today. And I have not heard a peep from the person I interviewed with when I visited London in August. I e-mailed her shortly before moving, after she said she wanted to offer me the job and she didn't respond. It puts me in a strange position. It's now the middle of November. She'd said that she thought the start date ought to be some time after 1 November. I wasn't looking forward to turning the job down, but now that she failed to offer it to me, I'm stuck. If I e-mail her, it might make it seem like I was interested. She didn't actually offer me the job, so writing and telling her I'm not interested seems rather ridiculous. I'm inclined to let it go because I'm perfectly content never to work in an academic setting again.

That's right, the worst has happened, and it's the best thing ever. I'm not at all interested in going back to academia. After a month-long break, I finally got enough perspective on my situation to see that I never aspired to a professorial position in the first place. I was pushing myself that way because I'd had the idea that any other course would be a waste of my talents implanted in my brain and it was difficult to shake. Almost every day, I ride the bus past one of the university campuses here and I am grateful I didn't decide to work there.

I feel as if the world has been opened up to me. Suddenly, it is possible for me to remake myself. Nobody's expectations are being thrust in my face. No one is disappointed in me for not choosing what they think I ought to have done. I take a huge delight in talking with the people I meet and not telling them anything about my educational background or my work experience. My identity is no longer tied to the academy. I am poor. I am no one. I am so happy, it's absurd.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: prosicated
2004-11-12 12:07 (UTC)

*applauds wildly*

Today her psyche, and tomorrow the world!!
Ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your hats, nanila is free!!!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-13 09:55 (UTC)
I dance! And sing. And write and go to museums to draw. Hooray!
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[User Picture]From: paris_of_priam
2004-11-12 12:22 (UTC)
So what do you think you'll do instead? (I'm guessing it's a great feeling, though. Kind of like that feeling you've had if you've had a junky old used car for YEARS. You've been putting up with the frustration of constant break downs and repair bills, and you hate it, but you can't really afford to buy a NEW car. Even if you could, you worry that if, after all this time, you get RID of the old junky car, you'll feel bad about it after you'd spent SO MUCH money to keep it going. But then, one day you decide 'to HELL with this,' and get rid of the old junker! No more break downs, no more FEAR of break downs, no more repair bills, no more worrying what's going to go wrong next. So what if you have to ride the bus for awhile. At least you don't have all that anxiety.)

I don't think I'll leave, though. I've still got the academic monkey on my back...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-13 10:00 (UTC)
Well, right now I'm taking a stab at writing. Depending on how that turns out, I may attempt to run with it. Next month, though, the plan is to make a concerted effort at learning to program. I may end up attempting to get a job doing that. Otherwise, I will look into doing work at a company that does research into alternative energy sources (wind, solar). There are several in the greater London area. Of course, all of this is subject to change and won't be relevant for another couple of months.

Just remember, if the monkey pees on you, it's time to give him back to his parents.
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[User Picture]From: seismic
2004-11-12 13:41 (UTC)
I am deliriously happy for you (not to mention monumentally jealous.)

Hufuckingzzah!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-13 10:02 (UTC)
It's the honeymoon phase. It'll pass, I'm sure. Right now, I'm determined to enjoy it, even though I know that. ;-)
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[User Picture]From: sadira42
2004-11-12 14:57 (UTC)
That's beautiful. I imagine that's how I'll feel when I finally leave the drudgery of admin. assistant land. Congratulations!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-13 10:06 (UTC)
Thank you! I know I'll have to start seriously looking for a job in a few months, but for now, I am enjoying this liberated feeling. Ahhh.
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[User Picture]From: kittenhotep
2004-11-12 15:45 (UTC)
Awh. This makes my belly feel warm with the happy. Yay you!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-13 10:07 (UTC)
It makes me want to dance. Dance!
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[User Picture]From: repoman
2004-11-12 17:23 (UTC)
Good for you!! Academia sucks and they wear too much plaid. I just hope this decision does not lead you to slinging coffee for a living...although its not a bad job.


BTW, thank you for the postcard! You could not have chosen a better graphic than those three. It is snack-dab in the middle of the fridge. If you would like on in return, please throw me your address and I'll send it off. e-mail it to ottorepo@hotmail.com
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-13 10:14 (UTC)
Eh, I don't consider anything beneath me. I doubt I'd be unhappy slinging coffee.

You're welcome! E-mailing you now.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-13 09:53 (UTC)
Oh, phew. At first I thought you were going to say, "And then I had a heart attack and it's ALL YOUR FAULT!"
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-13 10:28 (UTC)
Heh, it amuses me that those people equate degrees with earning potential, and earning potential with success. I have yet to make the same amount as my boyfriend, let alone more, and he has one degree while I have three. It doesn't really matter, though, because I think he's probably been happier than I have over the past few years, and that matters more. I'm just glad to be able to join him in a higher state of happiness, finally. :-P

I don't regret doing my Ph.D. or my postdoc, either. I'm glad I finally figured out that I needed to leave. Being in London is an excellent bonus, but I think I'd still be happy wherever we moved, as long as I'd realized that pursuing another course was right for me.

When you leave BigLawFirm, I highly recommend taking a vacation.
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[User Picture]From: enn
2004-11-12 21:45 (UTC)

!!lovely!

Suddenly, it is possible for me to remake myself.
you are a strong vital woman. you should be able to recreate yourself over &over in your lifetime;; &no doubt you will!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-13 10:20 (UTC)

Thank you!

This is the first time, I think. I am nervous and excited and happy and also a teeny bit fearful of doing it wrong. I think after the first time, though, then it becomes possible to understand that it can be done again.
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From: enzeru
2004-11-13 05:18 (UTC)
That is so cool. I'm glad this move worked out so well for you!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-13 10:18 (UTC)
Me too. Thank you. (P.S. I am mesmerized by dancing GIR. His ears...they wave...)
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[User Picture]From: hunterxtc
2004-11-13 09:17 (UTC)

Yummy Yummy Yummy I Got Freedom In My Tummy

It's rare to see a liberating post on here as of late with everyone crying about the demise of America because Bush got elected again). I think I said awhile ago that your artistic side was the part of you that seemed to really defined you, that academia was there because you were smart enough to do anything... with that being said, I think you're in a place where you can spread your artistic wings and fly. And as long as you can do that you are never poor.

But you know that.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-13 10:44 (UTC)
I'm doing my best to seize this opportunity with both hands. I'm deliriously happy, but that doesn't mean I'm not being productive. I've been drawing and writing like mad since I got here. I don't know if it will lead anywhere. Eventually I'll have to be practical and seek employment. For now, though, I'm trying to be as present as possible. And being financially poor is not having much impact on that. :-)

Thank you.
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From: marieofroumania
2004-11-18 22:34 (UTC)
I have noticed among people our age, women specifically, who have been overachievers at a young age and accomplished an unusual amount in a very few years, there is a tendency to just stop around 26 or 27 and do something completely different.

Case in point -- you, me (network news by 25, now 27 and back in San Diego and doing a lot of painting) mariclair (27, recently gave up her job as a lawyer to go to seminary school.) I wonder if it's a coincidence or if it's gender-related, but it's an interesting trend.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2004-11-22 09:48 (UTC)
Hm, I'm not sure. I know for me, I was at a critical turning point after completing my postdoc. I needed to decide to commit the next seven years to living, most likely, in Bumfuck, USA and scrabbling for tenure, or to leave. Obviously, I'm happy that I left, and it sounds like you are too. Were you at a point where you needed to make a really long-term commitment to your job?
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