I love my weekends. Two full days with my Pete. Wonderful. I end the weekend with inspiration to be productive. This week will be a new start. I fully intend to get up, do some Yoga, buckle down and do some work, maybe even get started on the closet cleanout I desperately want to do and plan my t-shirt quilt and clothing alterations.
And then Monday comes. Pete is off to work at his steadily advancing career and I am left in the house with no deadlines, no big push. Just me in my head. Feeling sorry for myself. Then feeling angry at myself for feeling sorry for myself. I just want to scream. I don’t know what to do. Everyone else knows what they think I should be doing. Writing articles, applying for jobs I don’t really want because I need to get my foot in the door. I feel like I have wasted seven years working on this stupid degree that isn’t going to get me anywhere. I’m not excited to be Dr. Terranova-Webb. I don’t know what I want to do with it. I feel like I missed my chance to have a career. I don’t know when that chance was or what the career was, but I feel lost now. I’ve realized that I have spent seven years working towards something I didn’t really understand and now I don’t want it. But I don’t know what I do want. I don’t know how to make a start because I don’t know what to start on.
I get upset with myself for feeling so down. I have almost everything I ever wanted, except the job. I have an incredible husband who is everything I ever wanted (foreign, funny, charming, sexy, smart, curly hair, cooks, dances with me, deals with me, gets me, loves me), I travel or at least have the ability to travel, I’m living abroad, I have the PhD. The only thing left out of the picture is a job I enjoy. That’s pretty good really. Not many people get that much of what they’ve dreamed. Just one more thing to figure out.
I got this idea in my head that I wanted to write programs for the radio, but I haven’t really followed it up. I don’t know how. I have no experience and in the current climate, no one wants to hire someone they have to spend time training. They’re in the process of getting rid of people. I don’t really want to go back to school. I’ve been doing that for years and it is just prolonging the inevitable. I look online and I see people making livings from their blogs and making their own radio shows. Maybe that’s the way forward, but they all have other jobs as well. And they seem to be better writers, thinkers, photographers, more creative, more brave. Or maybe it’s that I am not patient. I want immediate results. I can’t think about being committed to something without any return and without any assurance that it will work out the way I hope. I need that external validation. It’s a slippery slope.
There are a lot of ‘buts’ in there. They can all be explained away. They are just excuses. Because I don’t need to bring in money, I should be even more willing to try and make a go of it on my own, really throw myself into trying to make something for myself. I have a ‘but’ for that as well. It’s fear, I think. I’m scared to work for something and it turn out not to be what I thought it would be or what I want. I have just spent seven years doing that. I don’t want to waste another seven. I thought this would make me happy. It doesn’t. I went through all that pain and unhappiness and it doesn’t make me happy in the end. Pete does, but he’s not really connected to the academic work at all. It was more a way to stay here with him.
Maybe that’s the break-through. The PhD wasn’t about career building, it was about life building. It allowed me to stay here and build a life with Pete and meet some great people (in the circus) and find some stories. Maybe that’s all it was and I shouldn’t expect anything more from it. It has served its purpose.
Has that freed me to think about what I really want to do with the after-the-fact skills of a PhD and the variety of experience that came before? I don’t know. It's not too late, only 31 (soon 32). But I don't want to wake up and it's a year later and I am still here.
But tomorrow will come and I will stay in bed again and not do anything again. What will break the cycle?