It's funny how these things happen all at once.
I had some major shit going on when 9/11 happened. It lent an even stranger perspective to the already-nightmarish quality of my life at the time.
Now I'm seriously wondering about switching careers and how I'll make a living, not to mention giving up on what I've been working so hard for, and look what happens to the stock market.
My timing, as usual, is perfect.
So I woke up this morning with the clock-radio blaring about the latest drop, and I find myself grateful that I have, at least for the moment, even a piddily salary coming in. At least for a few more months, anyway.
Then I was thinking about some of my friends and other people in my lab.
And I realized, it could be a lot worse for me. I should be grateful.
I could have a mortgage or a house that I needed to sell. Thankfully, I don't.
I could be leaving now, instead of later. At least I have a little hope that things with the market might get better (?) before the shit really hits the fan in terms of my employment options.
I could be one of the grad students who is about to defend, but has not yet found a postdoc position (or an industry position, good luck with that).
I could be my friend who is already unemployed (whether I helped her with her interview or not was, as I suspected, irrelevant).
I could be my friend clutching a Canadian passport and talking about how her industry job is in such a specialized niche, she's going to have to get out soon before her company goes under. She's ready to run in a split second if McCain gets elected.
At least what I have on my side right now is: uncertainty.
Which in some ways, means I still have lots of possibilities. At least my fate is, at least not yet decided.
It's not clear what I should do, and that was kind of driving me crazy. So it actually makes me feel a little better than the rest of the country is also in a panic!
More consolation: if I fail now, I can blame it on the circumstances. Who's to say that, even if I had done everything perfectly, this same series of events wouldn't still have torpedoed my chances?
So I find it oddly comforting that the world is slipping on its axis.
It's hard not to picture the doomsday scenarios. The ones where our landlord suddenly decides to kick us out, but we can't sell any of the stuff we thought was at least worth a little money, because nobody is buying anything, so we have to leave it out on the street. What a waste that would be. Then we would have to leave, with nothing more than we can carry.
In these scenarios, the world turns black and white, like old movies.
Or as a friend put it, in the worst possible case, we're a whole generation of people who will have to move back into our parents' basements.
We'll have to do this either because we have no savings and lost our jobs, or because our parents' retirement savings are worthless, or both.
Won't it be fun, to hunker down with our families? You know how I love my family!
So I've got that "waiting for the other shoe to drop" feeling, which is kind of silly since I think I've been kicked in the head enough lately.
Now I'm expecting that any one of the following would really seal our fate:
a) a pandemic, like the bird flu in Germany jumping from chickens and ducks to humans
b) another hurricane or other natural disaster that costs the country a fortune and sends more people scrambling for a place to live
c) someone to attack the US while we're clearly not ready to respond
In that last scenario, I picture myself and mrphd having to join the Army.
Do you think they'd give me lasik surgery? That would make me so much more useful, at least in a military capacity.