Raquelita had an awesome post today about her mystical unicorns—the goals she dreams of achieving, the ones that are particularly elusive. Her post was so cool that I’m totally stealing the idea. I’ve got mystical unicorns too.
* A career in teaching, writing, editing, or all three. I am one of those rare science PhDs who has known all along that I would eventually transition out of full-time research and into something else. I started my PhD knowing this to be true about my career aspirations, and it is still true, 8+ years later. I’ve been in my first postdoc position for about two years and five months. Depending on how funding goes this year, I will stay in this position for another six months or longer. But no matter what happens with funding, this much I know: at some point, I must begin applying for teaching or editing jobs. My long-term career satisfaction is dependent on this. For now, I am committed to my postdoc position, applying for funding and working toward a new publication. Devotion, remember?
* A home in a great town or city. As much as I’m trying to make the best of College Station, I can’t see myself staying in this town. I really can’t. I miss cities with a downtown area, a great farmers’ market, and wonderfully walkable neighborhoods. These things are hard to find in my area. Also, I’d really prefer to live in or near a city with a big airport. Between my family living in Michigan and Matt living in Texas, one way or another I will be flying to visit my loves. Living in College Station adds 3-5 hours to my travel days when I’m flying, and for what? I’m not wild about the town, and my job is a temporary position by definition. I do like Texas, so I’m open to the possibility of moving to one of the larger cities here, like Austin or San Antonio, but I can’t stay in College Station much longer.
* Home ownership. Because I don’t plan to be in College Station longer than 2-3 more years, I plan to rent an apartment until I move away. But I’d really like to own my own little house, or maybe a condo. Right now, I’m squirreling money away for a home, but it can be hard at times being patient with myself and my career.
Got any mystical unicorns of your own? Tell me about them in the comments, or write about them on your blog and share the link—I’d love to hear! And a big thank you to my dear blog friend Raquelita for the inspiration—she never fails to inspire me, whether in research, writing, running, or friendship.