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Recent events led me to think about how much my life has changed in the last three years. Last week I completed my first ever submission review for a journal. Since graduating in May, I think it was one of the first activities to make me really feel like a professional. Yes, there have been other moments, but in many ways I’d settled back to live as usual, so I’d stop feeling the wonder of actually being finished.
The other day I went to the library to pick up a book for a new project. I pulled out my school ID card and, before putting it back, actually looked at the picture. The picture has always been a little dorky. The day before I started work Ouiser’s cat scratched my eye lid, so I had an extra bag or two under one eye. Also, for some reason I wore my hair in a way that I almost never did.
It’s hard to get a decent picture of a picture of an ID card, but I think you get the point. Looking at that picture I was struck by the thought it was taken only three years ago. In many ways the last three years have felt like ten. I hardly recognize this picture.
For comparison, here’s a picture of me from today. It’s my post-hair cut selfie in the car.
The change is more than just the Ph.D. or the haircut. I probably can’t really explain it, because it is all of that and more. It’s the Ph.D., the hair, the tattoo, and even my willingness to take and post after haircut selfies. All of which are probably just expressions of how I’ve become more comfortable with myself.
Arguably, I think my strangest reaction to finally graduating is feeling all dressed up with no where to go.
Sure I have some fancy letters by my name and a little more time on my hands, but everything else stayed the same. Same job, same husband, same dogs, same projects looming …
The kicker is that now I have the time to research and write, but I don’t know what to write about. Do I start another big project (book length)? Do I try to get some articles out for review? Do I update my Vitae and get ready for the market? Do I chuck it all and really delve into a project about corpses on television? (Because, yes, I am interested in that.) Or, maybe I actually try writing that detective novel that keeps poking around my head? As usual for me, the more options or time I have the less I know what to do with myself.
At least I finally managed a mid-week post!
You might not believe it, or maybe I’m much easier to read than I think, but I’m an introvert.
Really. It’s true. I’ll perform till the cows come home, but at the end of it all I need somewhere quiet. I need to sit.
At work, I haven’t been able to sit for about a week and a half. You can probably imagine how crazy that made me. Until today. Today I got to spend a whole 6 hours in my office, checking things off my list, and getting my life in order.
Life is seriously 50,0000 times more manageable.
Oh, and the DH got a job! Haven’t said anything because it wasn’t all smooth sailing, and I didn’t want to jinx it. Now that he’s worked two full shifts, I feel a little more confident.
Considering the red wine involved in this evening. I should probably leave it at this short update.