My existence is a life-long treasure hunt.

Which Way?

Path 1:

Make a real impact on a research field

Immerse myself potentially in subjects I love to learn about and contribute to

Potential prestige in a career where there are not many of “me”

Potential career with a flexible schedule (winter holidays and summer off? Holla!)

Be able to set examples for, instruct, and mentor fresh and eager minds year after year

Publish and be cited

Speak and author

I feel like I would be wasting potential and brainage if I don’t at least try

Give up potentially 5-6 years of my life and risk burnout (which I am already feeling the insistent tugs of)

Risk an extremely tight job market

Possibly be forced to relocate somewhere less than ideal or just straight up FML-ville

Be stuck with ignorant, privileged, disrespectful ass students

Being responsible for grading stuff

Publish or perish mentality/fighting for tenure

Don’t necessarily possess the personality and stomach for this kind of competitive environment

Am I pursuing this because I feel I “should” and not because I really want to?

Can’t deny the feeling of excitement I get looking at the programs though

Putting Crabby in situations he may not wish to be in (moving, staying somewhere for years, putting everything on my job prospects)

Path 2:

Settle down and nest

Disposable income

Which means I can get what I want and I can TRAVEL which is the main thing I need to keep my brain functioning

Obtain a home of some sort

Which leads to being able to actually entertain in my own domain and host game nights and Halloween porties (it’s the little things)

More and better time spent nurturing my relationships

Produce a mini-corn or mini-corns?

I can finally get back to READING what I WANT to read! LEISURE READING, I MISS YOU!

Much more flexibility career-wise

But muchΒ  more possibility of boredom in a career I don’t really want?

But is it essential that I get complete satisfaction in a career if I have satisfaction outside?

Even a boring career could free me up with time to pursue hobbies and interests on the side which would help my brain to not DIE

Stability, I can haz?

But what would I DO? What CAN I do?

I have been inspired lately by various blogs and blog posts that either blatantly or just by existing urge me to follow my dreams, to be willing to risk it all to achieve bliss…but what ARE my dreams? A lot of these dreams that I see being fulfilled by others are directly career-related…but do they HAVE to be career-related? Whatever dreams I DO have that could possibly be filled through a career, could they not be pursued on the side, ALONGSIDE whatever I do to earn mainstream money, so I don’t have to put all my eggs in one basket? Depends on what my dreams are, I guess. I feel like I have an abstract, but upon closer inspection the words get blurry. I need to see them. I need to list what makes me happy and smile and FEEL that sense of cozy content satisfaction. I am an extremely visual person. I need lists. I need to see. I need to write. I need to color. I’m working on it.

*sigh* I hate pergatory.

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Comments on: "Which Way?" (33)

  1. hMMm Is like This; No one can tell you what to do or how to proceed, do you have potential to do and dabble into everything you want, but only you know what would fulfill you more

    it depends on the type f person you are too, cause I’m NOT a Type A person, and excepting the Unicornii begetting I’d probably be a 2nd Path type of person, more relaxed pace, TRAVELING, Noming with frendz, so to speak (i’d change house for apartment But I’m sure Topaz would have something to say about that)

    But If you have drive, yearning and all the energy to pursue path one and claw your way a bit ruthlessly through the competition that you might encounter,then go for it, cause I still think you are VERY young and you got ample reproductive time on you (if that’s a concern)

    • QQ, I’m so NOT a Type A person either which is why I am having these doubts.

      Topaz would have MAJOR stone face-age if it was apartment living forever

      The reproductive thing is one concern but honestly it’s more like delaying my LIFE, for 5-6 more years. I want to enjoy the fruits of my labor and such.

  2. PoliBohoGlam said:

    I am thinking and crafting a better answer.
    The Libra in me thinks “why can’t you have both?”.
    I am thinking the same things about my life. Being a community organizer for an organization that’s under national attack does not really offer stability and financial prosperity.
    yeah. pergatory. ick.

    • PBG: We are similar, because the Gemini in me thinks why can’t I have both as well. And I very well might be able to have both…but if I pursue Path 1, Path 2 is going to be extremely delayed and that’s the main issue. How long can I stand putting off my life?

      Community organizer you say? Sounds interesting.

  3. I am in the same situation but the difference is that I know I will keep up my hobbies no matter what. But it is extremely important to me to be satisfied in my career and currently I am but how long will this last? I’m not sure, I don’t want to be wishing I went and got my PhD 10 years down the line but because of family obligations I can’t. When you figure it out, let me know.

    • Deeonna: What are you doing and studying right now, if you don’t mind elaborating?

      • Actually I’m a good 4 years out of school (hence the conflict about going back), I have my MPH and currently run a biomedical research study. There isn’t much opportunity for advancement in health care unless you have an MD or PhD and I’m definitely not going to medical school. I want to have a part in changing healthcare in this country but I don’t want to be career researcher/stuck in academia/out of touch with the way the real world works.

    • Wow, I see your dilemma. Are there options for other degrees (a Masters in something else) that you could combine with the MPH for non-research advancement? I know that Phd is a considerable amount of time.

      • Not really, I’m not interested in being a nutritionist or nurse or anything. I want to implement programs, I can do that as a head of a community organization or as a part-researcher/faculty member. Either way I think a PhD is the path to this type of job. Part of my issue is not being able to discribe exactly what I want to do, some one recently told me that maybe it’s because what I want to do doesn’t exist yet. That statement gave me some comfort but no clarity. But I guess that’s the point, I’m not sure about going back to school without a definite plan for what to do after school.

  4. Ugh I went through this a couple years ago. It’s not fun. I actually ended up doing something that was sort of in-between and not what I thought I’d be doing. Working full-time, writing, and getting some time to publish. It’ll all work out. Just look for the signs. πŸ™‚

    • Ave, Vesper, darling yes you have been a tremendous help to me through our e-mails. I’m watching for the signs to figure out what exactly my dreams are so I can attempt to pursue.

  5. i posted this on my blog, but imma put it on yours too. just in case:

    “i was just on the toilet reading. when i came back to my computer, i found your ‘trying to decide which way to go’ comment. turns out, i had been reading what would become my response to you, written by the great barbara sher:

    ‘in mexico they have a wonderful saying: ‘la vida es corta, pero ancha’. [that is,] ‘life is short but it is wide’. i’m not even so sure about the ‘short’ part; have you really grasped the fact that you’ll probably have twenty or thirty more years to fill? in any case, there’s a lot more room in your life than you think– room for [the equivalent of] five lives and then some. finding that room is simply a matter of making effective use of time, and that means planning…’

    drink up, baby girl!!”

    • Thank you so much for replying, you and your blog are friends in my head. Planning is the stage I am trying to get to and I’m almost there. I want to open as many doors as possible. I cackled a little at “on the toilet reading”…I will be back to drink!

  6. I swear, I just read this after I just finished posting something similar on my blog! I know you put it up a couple of days ago – I’m late, sorry. πŸ™‚

    Check out Penelope Trunk’s blog – see if it does anything for you. A lot of what she writes really resonated with me.

    As women, we have the whole baby thing looming because if there’s anything about all of this that is finite and out of our control it’s that. And if you want the babies, it kind of screws with everything else because within that finite window, it can happen at any time and turn your world upside down.

    Dumb boys don’t have to deal with that shit. So unfair. πŸ˜‰

    **smooches**

  7. Okay, now I really suck because I saw that you put this up today and I’m so brain-dead I’m thinking this morning was a couple days ago. That’s how much my days run together…

    • My days are running together withOUT the added stress you have experienced so you are not to blame for anything! As I said on your blog, we really were thinking similarly today and I’ve begun reading Penelope (I knew I remembered her from the Colour blog!).

  8. i’m finishing up my phd now and am on the job market. i think you can have both dreams, if you plan it out correctly (be flexible, tho! everything ain’t gonna go as planned) and involve your hubby/partner in *all* decisions. he definitely needs to be on-board with your plans.

    if academic life at a research 1 uni sux for you when you’re done, try teaching at a good liberal arts college, where the students will be hella eager and there will be less “publish or perish” stress. it also might be easier to pop out a couple of crumb snatchers while working at a lac. or, just use that doctorate somewhere in that path 2 scenario and publish as an independent scholar, if you still feel invested in your field.

    girl, you have options. celebrate. good luck!

    –fellow ohn poster and lurker ova here

    • MDC who are you? Where are you? WHEN ARE YOU?! Seriously though, reveal your e-mail to me or something, I have questions! Soooo many questions. Don’t make me call you out in my next blog post because I will! Thank you for your extremely helpful comment.

  9. lmao!! πŸ™‚ what’s your email addy? i ain’t trying to out myself around these parts, esp. because i stay on that one-way train to hell, OHN (i have students and i need a job!). i will shoot you a msg from my uni address…

  10. have you ever heard of a kimmaytube? she’s an awesome natural hair youtuber. anyway, she just did this really cool video a week back about that shows an example of graphic recording. as you may know, it’s a visual way of brainstorming and organizing ideas. take a looksy…i think it’ll help give you a better way of visualzing the pros and cons of your options:)

  11. ^^wow, that’s cool! i didn’t realize you could post whole ass videos in a comment section. i thought i was just posting the link lol.

    • Gonna watch this when I get home! I didn’t know you could post whole ass videos in the comments either! WP is BAWSE.

  12. reminds me of my favorite R.Frost poem “the road not taken”

    Life is about choices and sacrifice…do we take that high paying job and sacrfice our sanity, social life/family
    or choose family and sacrifice parts of our dreams?

    i find the choices aren’t that hard to make in the end. We find that we often tend to polarize life in our heads but our hearts tend to bridge our dreams with reality to make them possible, feasible and achievable.

    your path will come to you

    • That’s the theme I’ve been hearing, make a bridge between the two. My path will come, but I want it NOWWWWW! LOL. Thank you!

  13. you know how i feel abt this already. i dont see how you could go wrong if u follow your dreams. you have everyone’s support.

    i vote YAS on prop mini-corn

  14. Damn. I’m late as a muf#@ker.

    Well, let me put my late azz 2 cents on it. I believe you should follow your gut, your heart…whateva you wanna call it. I would hate to think of anyone in their senior years reflecting on what could have been if they had just done what was in them to do. It’s a sad thought indeed. Live life with no regrets and follow your passion.

    Just be sure that to talk it over w/your husband.

    And as far as kids are concerned, women are busting em out at “fidy” these days, so I think you all will be just fine. πŸ˜‰
    Lol.

  15. I think you can have BOTH! It will be hectic and crazy and so very worth it!

  16. ugh, im mad atchu. what you doin over here on wordpress? lame

  17. I honestly do not envy you this very tough decision. I only advise you to follow your gut.

    Even if it’s full of masticated gummi bears, your gut, like hips, don’t lie!!

  18. Yeah
    im the last one to offer up advice here
    lol
    Do wat works best for u hon
    and if that means trying crap out then deciding something else is better, so be it
    good luck

  19. Can't Take It said:

    Whoo, I’m late. My blog-roaming skills have fallen to the wayside in such a horrible fashion.

    Okay, like just about everyone else here….you can do both. Prioritize! What parts of those lists would you rather concentrate on? Which parts do you feel okay about delaying for a few more years?

    And you have plenty of time for a family. If you and the hubby don’t mind waiting a while longer, than DO YOU the best way you know how! And if you don’t know, make it up as you go along…so long as it makes you happy, I’m good! *mwah*

  20. Follow your heart for you never know what may happen.

    I had my life mapped out as a documentary filmmaker until I had a taste of what I could be going through as a starving artist.

    I’m doing something completely different from what I had imagined for myself but I’m thankful for the financial security I have instead of worrying month to month if I can pay my bills.

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