Happy anniversary, dear blog, dear Absurdist Paradise! It was a year ago today that I first decided that I needed a place to vent about and try to make sense of the absurdity, at that time of the job search process, then dissertating, then counting down to Adventure U. Then there's basically been this Absurdist Paradise radio silence, where I haven't felt like I could risk publicizing what was going on with me.
In that blogoversary spirit, I went back and read some of my earliest posts. It occurs to me how so much can happen in a year. I'm in a very different place (literally and figuratively) from where I was last year. If anything, I'm more, rather than less, conflicted about tenure-track academic life. I realize that this makes me a class-A ingrate, considering my incredible luck; on the other hand, I'm not sure that the luck I've had has led me to feeling useful and worthwhile in the world (which I figure is as close to happiness as I dare ask, work, or hope for). Moreover, the nature of my luck made me have to choose, as many academics do, between having a job and having a life. (I'm choosing life.) In looking back at the early posts, I see also that even back then I was intermittently thinking about some of my biggest concerns now -- no, not the job market, but who I was/am as an academic versus as a writer. I've gained a great deal in grad school, including a sense that I can write about certain topics that are important to me and that I may even have something important to say about the experiences that my education and interests have made it possible for me to have. But I'm also extremely grateful for this little academic train hiatus I've built for myself where I can choose to go forward or make a course correction. Most of all, I want to write. I've always wanted to write. And my birthday is coming up -- one of those big birthdays that seem portentous. The refrain in my head goes like this: I've known I wanted to write and wanted to be a writer for twenty-eight years now, since I found out from the bio on the back of a Judy Blume book that it was possible to be a writer and not be dead, with my manuscripts all neatly awaiting publication in my desk. I've wasted enough time. Enough already. Maspeek! Chalas!
So friends, I'm off to the do the impossible. I am yet again moving. This time, I'm moving to Urban Home City, off to a real adventure in being with the man I love, writing, and trying to figure out what to do (fit myself to the tenure track? academic administration? writing/editing? becoming a totally successful novelist/screenwriter almost overnight? being an underemployed overeducated "artiste" when I am entirely too old to do so?) that will support me in living a whole life I can blossom in and support the dreams and growth of my man. Academic or not, I'm sure the absurdity will continue.
By the way, what is up with the damn Wiki? Who would maliciously rip down a democratic and altruistic space that makes many of us feel like we have some control over our lives? Creeps. By the way, I have an interview at Dreadful Conference. My Man is coming with me. I don't know what he'll think of it all. I'm sure the madcap adventures will continue. I hope you'll come with me.