An update of sorts

I think next week I might have more progress to report on the home-maker front. In the meantime, we’re this close to making a decision about what to do with our lives. In the context of those conversations, Gimli has been pressing me to think through and articulate what exactly my thoughts and feelings are about pursuing an academic career, and it’s been a difficult but good process. I can only resort to the cliche of peeling an onion – lots of layers, and a few tears. There’s so much self-doubt, so little confidence, and parsing the roots of that has been work. But good work. The journal has come in handy. And Gimli has come through with some great affirmations (and a great deal of patience). I’m really glad that I’m married to the 46-year-old version of him, and not the 26-year-old version, right now!

One thing has become crystal clear – my academic self is very close to the core of who I am, and I have to protect and nurture that part of me. Even if I don’t end up with a career, per se, in academics, I have to keep my intellectual lights alive. So that’s good to know.


7 Responses to “An update of sorts”

  1. happygoluckytireegal Says:

    Lots to think about. I’m glad your cogitations are moving in the direction of decision making and that Gimli and you are working so closely and patiently with one another.
    I’m looking forward to hearing what the next steps are:) good luck!

  2. jjiraffe Says:

    I know what you mean by your “intellectual lights”: I need to keep mine on too. Glad Gimli is counseling you wisely.

  3. St. Elsewhere Says:

    Glad for such support from Gimli….

    You will find your answers. You have to, eventually.

  4. tara Says:

    my orgo prof in college told me I needed to make sure that I kept a research project even if i taught at a PUI. He argued that you need to have ‘something that is yours’. At the time I didn’t get what he meant and while I’m not sure it always has to be a research project, this year has taught me that I have to have something that is my own as well and that in my mind that translates to working outside of the home. It’s good to know what makes you tick.

    • Elizabeth Says:

      I remember you saying this before… there have been times I’ve thought about walking away from the PhD altogether, mostly because of how hard it is to balance with motherhood. Gimli’s dept. chair said to me, right before we left the US, “it gets easier” – while looking at her 3-year-old waiting for her on the grass in front of S. House, thinking of her 7-year-old biking to school by herself. I e-mailed her later to ask her to elaborate and for ideas on how to balance dissertation-writing and motherhood, and she said “for me, the PhD was a given, non-negotiable,” and she’d rather be immersed in her work when they were younger and wouldn’t remember it. Wow – I just can’t relate that to my approach to mothering. Even though my therapist said something similar (about CIO). Just because you don’t remember something doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect you! So I still don’t know the answer. But I do think it is getting easier.

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