Hey, friends! I thought we could sit down and have a chat. I’m even drinking coffee right now—are you? (Mine is a decaf Sumatra bean from Starbucks, French-pressed to perfection. I am not a French press evangelist, but I do enjoy the sheer simplicity of that little contraption. Brew, press, pour, and ta-da! Fresh coffee, ready to go.)
I’m not sure where to start, so I’ll just start big and say that life is so, so good right now. I’m falling in love, and it feels awesome. I think a younger version of me would have been afraid to say something like that so boldly, in public. But having been in love before, I know what it feels like and I’m not afraid to slap a label on it. Experience brings with it wisdom—that’s one of the gifts that comes with getting older. And I have had enough experience dating people who were wrong for me to say that my new guy is a good one. He’s Mr. Right Now, but I’m hoping he’ll stick around because I really like hanging out with him. Do you know what I love most about him? He makes me laugh and that’s my very favorite thing. We just have so much fun together, and it’s wonderful.
I haven’t yet explained to him that by dating me, he is going to end up as a subject on this blog. And until I do that, I don’t feel right about saying too much about him, though as you might imagine I am dying to tell you what we’ve been cooking together. It’s been a delicious few weeks, I can tell you that much. But once I’ve had the chat with him about dating a blogger who writes a personal blog, maybe I can tell you his name. I think he’d be a touch offended that I called him Mr. Right Now, but I am so happy right now that it seems right. It’s hard for me to worry too much about the future. I just want to enjoy him.
That being said, I am working on future plans. I have decided not to apply for a second postdoc position (which I can tell you more about, if anyone is interested*). I’ve started working on a new secret project (which I will tell you about soon, I promise), and I’m applying for freelance science editing jobs. Perhaps that comes not as a surprise to you, considering that I write two blogs and have a deep love for language and ideas. And to be honest, the freedom that may come with freelancing is really appealing to me right now. I have been so wedded to my job for the last 3.5 years that freedom is what I want next. Or perhaps more accurately, some free time. Along those lines, I’m starting to make my summer travel plans. I’ll be heading up to Michigan for about two weeks for a friend’s wedding and to see my family. After that, I’m trying to convince Mr. Right Now that we should head west to Colorado to see mountains and enjoy each other’s company. Money might be kinda tight for us, since I may be unemployed and he doesn’t work in the summer, but if we road-trip our way over to Colorado and do some scheming to find reasonably priced lodging, then I think it could work. Honestly, if I’m unemployed, I want to really enjoy some of that time free from work obligations. Between grad school and my postdoc, I have spent the better part of ten years married to research labs and my long-term projects. I’ve also lived pretty frugally, and I am happy to squander some of that frugality on a trip to remember. Also: mountains. That’s all I really need to say.
So all is well here. After surviving the hell that was 2012, I did not dare to dream of such big things for 2013—new love, new jobs, new travels, new chances at happiness. I keep thinking about what my boss said when he told me that our grant would not be funded: “Don’t look back.” There’s no way I would be so calm about things had I not mentally prepared for the worst: that I would lose my job. This month I’ve been able to get a grip on the reality of my situation: one door is closing. One particular chapter in my work life is ending. And that means I get to look forward to writing the next chapter, on fresh paper with new pens. I am excited.
* Is anyone interested in this? I’ve been thinking about writing a post on this topic. I am sure if I title my post “Why I am not Doing a Second Postdoc,” I will get a boatload of Google hits. And I’m not sure how I feel about that! In my blog stats, I saw someone did a search for “rebellious postdoc” and landed at this post. Am I rebellious? I don’t even know how to answer that question.