A very real part of me wants to have money and live in California and live in a bungalow secluded by lush foliage and be in love and wear stretchy pants all day with provocative inscriptions on the butt and giant sunglasses and a giant stroller and vigorously power walk my kids around the town’s many walk/jog/bike paths ad teach yoga and spend a good deal of time on beautification.
Another part of me wants to get a good, nonstressful, tenure track job back home, rent, then buy, a small farm, with a cute old farmhouse on it and about 20 really lush valley acres to raise between 10-15 head of sheep. I’ll have a dog and I’ll be handy, and I’ll wear sweats and pig boots (aka mud boots) everywhere all the time. I will not be in love, but will have passionate, year-long love affairs with various people.
I recently received an email from my undergraduate alma matter that they’re opening another tenure track line. They’ve opened one each year for the last few years, which makes me think that they are starting to reach capacity. Each year, I hope they’ll wait until I’m ready to apply. Technically, I shouldn’t go on the job market now, ABD. I should wait until I’m really done. Everyone says you shouldn’t get a job ABD. It’s just too difficult to finish. But, what if it is your dream job? What if another opening doesn’t come along for five years and by then you’re in a tenured position at some other less desirable location? What then? Also, is this really what I want? The job market is such that people tend to stay in their jobs for…life. The exception is only if you get a lot of publications and develop a name for yourself in the field.
I am burdened with the knowledge that the choice I make this year and the next will profoundly influence what the rest of my life looks like. Do I really want to go home? Or, do I want something else? I don’t like that I have to decide already. And, yes, this has to do with relationships too. If I am stuck somewhere, how will I ever end a relationship? My modus operandi has always been to move. Changing locations is the best way to change relationships, I’ve always thought.
The neuroses about future planning will get worse before they get better, I’m sure.