Monday, January 25, 2010

Part Two

I've been feeling a little down tonight, which I wasn't expecting because today was just fine.  But I was watching the Rosie O'Donnell interview on Oprah, and a lot of it resonated with me.  Part of it is just listening to Rosie talk about losing her mother.  I was much luckier than she was since I had my mother for thirty-seven years, and she had hers for ten.  But I was thinking of my mother, nonetheless.

And that connects to the second topic.  Rosie was talking about reaching forty-five and wondering what she was going to do with the rest of her life, which is something that's been on my mind, too.  I am beyond lucky that I have reached forty having achieved what I've hoped to achieve in my life.  I have the career I intended to have, I live in the home in which I've always wanted to live, and I live with a partner I hope to have for the rest of my life.  All of that's great, and I do not mean to be taking it for granted.  But while I will have to work to maintain those things, I've been thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life.  I don't want to just spin my wheels for the next twenty, thirty years.  I want to do something, but I'm not sure what it should be.

Part of this is brought on by recent conversations I've had resulting from the job search in my department that has just been canceled due to budget cuts.  Yes, that happens, and it's sad, but the conversations I've had with various people have been eye-opening and confusing.  People have been giving me some unsolicited advice.  It's all been thought-provoking, and some people are being quite considerate.  But I'm more confused about what I want to do next in my life/career (which are deeply integrated).  I don't want to write a book.  I know I'm supposed to want to write one, but I don't.  Edit, yes, but write, no.  I'm not sure if I want to write academically or creatively or for what kind of audience.  I'm not sure if I want to work on some other area like photography or something similar.

I know I need to make some decisions before I wake up at fifty-five or something and wonder what I have to show for the last decade or whatever.  Yes, I could say that maintaining this life, if I can do it, is something to be proud of.  But the security I have now means I have opportunities, and I think it's sad to waste them.

Ah, well.  I'll certainly be reporting whatever I do online, I'm sure.

1 comment:

  1. I have been thinking along similar lines lately. I'm re-evaluating who I want to be as a scholar--not so much my research area, but what I want to do with it and how much of a role I want research to play in my professional life. And I'm not really sure where to go with all of it, either.

    I wish you clarity as you think through these issues. I am sure you will make decisions that are right for you and that you will be proud of.