Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It takes time to turn a ship around

I don't regret quitting my job. If anything, I'm more convinced than ever that it was the right decision.

At the same time, however, I also feel kind of... stunned. A little depressed, even. For so long, this was my would-be identity: assistant professor, PhD. In the last seven years, this is pretty much all I've thought about.

So now to say that I am done with it - not just this particular position in this place, but with traditional academia altogether - it's a bit of a shock. I think I just need some time to get used to the reality of this chapter ending and another one beginning.

Submitting my resignation left me feeling almost euphoric; that's often how I feel when I make a hard decision. But now that the euphoria has worn off, I find myself feeling sensitive to the understandable aftermath of my decision:
  • Things at work with my colleagues are awkward. I don't know if they're mad or disappointed or what, but... they don't talk to me like they used to. They don't include me in their conversations. They're treating me like what I suppose my role has become: temporary.
  • I'm sad at the thought of leaving people here who I really like, including the other faculty at my institution.
  • My students, including my advisees, will soon find out about me leaving, and I worry about their reaction. Of course, they have bigger and better things to worry about than the departure of a teacher, but I'm close with many of them and I don't want them to think less of me for not sticking around.
  • I glance around my office and think, "I'm going to need to clean this thing out soon. Ugh." And then I look at the little coffee maker I bought when I was so excited about having my first office and think, "What happened? What's the difference between me then and me now?"
I'm sure this is a totally normal set of feelings and emotions. It'll get better; it's just a low day.

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