How close are you really.
Last time I saw my therapist she was asking me how much more am I willing to do to try to get a faculty position.
Q: Would I be willing to go door-to-door to find a way (funding, job title of some sort) to stay another year?
A: Um, no. I don't think I would. I don't think I can take another year of this. I don't enjoy it enough to put up with the toxic people and uncertainty for that much longer.
Q: Would you feel better if you just decided you won't be applying for faculty positions at all this year? Does that relieve some of the pressure?
A: Um, no. Not really. And it makes me feel defeated.
And I had sort of a horrible realization, that the way things are going, I'm much more behind schedule than I thought. My advisor's various excuses ultimately delayed everything by about a year.
And yes, there were some setbacks that were not my advisor's fault, including time out for me to feel sorry for myself.
But even including all the other problems, ultimately the biggest problem was my advisor's unwillingness to step up (or get out of the way and let me do it myself).
And the irony is that everyone's best advice was to tell me if I could just get this one person to, you know, mentor me or whatever, everything would be OK.
And my telling myself that if I just tried hard enough, I could make that happen.
So anyway I guess it's nice to have some validation... my therapist said that just because you think you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not actually after you.
I can haz career sabotage?
And she said it's pretty clear that where I am now is toxic (no kidding) and that I need to get out of there (yes, clearly).
I guess the part I'm not sure about is, well, let me use a metaphor. I sort of feel like I've been jumping from rock to rock trying to get across an ocean. And there's kind of a haze so I can't see the other shore. So I think I'm maybe one or two rocks from the end, but maybe I'm totally wrong about that. Maybe there are no more rocks and the trail just ends? Maybe that's why I feel like I'm stranded in the middle of the ocean and I don't really want to go back where I came from, but I don't really have another choice?
And to try another take on that ocean metaphor, I feel like I've already missed the boat. So I was running to the dock and the boat is pulling out and it's not moving that fast so I think okay I can swim. So I try to swim but I can't catch up, so then I find someone with a rowboat and ask if I can get in. But we still can't catch up and even though we're taking turns rowing, eventually the person who was helping me says I should just give up.
And I can't get across the ocean in a rowboat anyway. So my options are to what, try to call the coast guard? This is getting ridiculous.
Especially since there is no coast guard in the ocean of science.
I guess if I had to do it over again, and someone had told me I'd have teach myself how to build my own boat, I would have said no, thanks, I don't know how and the thought of doing it just makes me tired.
But they didn't really tell me that was what I'd have to do, did they?
So I guess that's the point of this blog for today. I'm telling you, now, so you don't have to make all the same mistakes. If you're not willing to be a castaway, don't bother. And even if you thought you were. Just ask Tom Hanks.
In a way I'm really glad I'm finally doing this therapy thing, and I kind of have to laugh that I'm doing it now, when my health insurance is bound to run out and I'm not sure what I'll do then. And I'm impatient to make more progress faster, even though I know that's not how these things are supposed to work.