But despite all that sacrifice and geeky willingness to conform to academe's arbitrary demands at any cost, I only had one AHA interview lined up for Jan. 2010. Only one shot to secure a history position for which I was ideally suited. And nothing came of this preliminary interview. Academe spat on my love once again and left me broken hearted and pissed off.
|Is my heart all cracked and shriveled now like the Grinch's?|
Point is: In the years immediately following grad school, I gave my long-term, twisted relationship with academe my all but, like so many other poor suckers who want to be scholars for a living, just kept getting burned. By summer 2010 I felt like it was time to take a short separation before choosing to either break up with academe for good of my own free will or make a more serious commitment, bad treatment and all.
But I have an anxious personality by nature; it takes me a long time to make a major life decision, like breaking up with someone or something to which I've grown accustomed and/or attached. I had to take things slow and see how I felt about the trial separation. (Pretty damn good actually. Never slept better.) The trial appeared to go well at first--until I realized that making a huge career transition during a recession was really, really difficult and just as stressful and soul crushing as trying to find an academic job. That realization sucked. So I opted to continue on the same tired path for now, all the while knowing I would most likely be leaving the ivory tower in 2011 or 2012.
Hence this year I only applied for a handful of academic jobs and found myself resigned to rejection before I'd even sent the applications off. The love affair had grown stale over the past year and working on this blog, among other things, had enabled me to see that there were plenty of non-academic opportunities out there for someone with my skill set. I just wasn't that into it anymore.
But like any other unhealthy love affair, academe wasn't ready to let me go so easily. I ended up with multiple interview requests this year, despite only applying for 6 jobs and determining not to attend the AHA. It's the last gasp before the true death of this relationship, I suppose. (And now the anxiety nightmares are back.) So even though I have a 1 in 12 shot at four different academic positions this year, all in decent parts of the country, I'm convinced that nothing will come of it. It's not that I'm a total Debbie Downer, but I still believe that my path lies elsewhere. Probably. After all, it's way more fun being the one who does the rejecting. I'll keep you posted.