I finished the dissertation revisions.
I finished with the summer class.
What do I do now?
My therapist thinks I should take some time off, but I don’t really know what that means. Or, maybe I do, but the thought makes me super anxious, because all I can think about are the things that I should be doing.
I should be revising my job market materials. I should revise my research statement and my teaching philosophy. I should apply for the schools that have already posted jobs.
I should be sending out manuscripts for publication. Those dissertation chapters aren’t going to transform into journal articles by themselves, and the review process takes months.
I should be starting new research. One project done, onto the next, right? Gotta always have something in the pipeline. Publish or perish is real.
I should be preparing for my fall classes. I’m going to be teaching two; one of which is a new prep. I should get started on the readings, the slides, and the assignments, so it’s not a crazy rush during the semester.
What do I want to do though?
I want to be left alone. I want to be left alone by my advisors telling me that I need publications, and the placement director telling me I’m already behind on the job market, and my boyfriend trying to make it all okay.
I want to be in a field that doesn’t leave me feeling guilty for not working all the time. I imagine a job that is truly 8 to 5. A job that doesn’t compel me to come to the office seven days a week. A job that doesn’t make me feel like a failure for not constantly working at full speed. Can academia be that job?