So this post has been percolating for a while. There’s something that has been lingering in the back of my mind for years, and I closed my ears to it. I closed my mind to it. I persevered. But now…
…I’m thinking of leaving the ph.d.
There, I said it. And it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. Partly because I’ve been saying it quite a bit the past couple of days. Some background: I’ve been in graduate school in some form or another for the last 8 years. I have a MA in history, will be finishing my MA in english in August, and am accepted into a fully-funded ph.d. program beginning this fall.
And I don’t think I want to do it. I can do it, but I don’t think I want to.
I have always loved school, but it’s getting to the point where I don’t even enjoy the fundamental tasks of my job as a grad student. I’m not enjoying seminars, the writing leaves me paralyzed, and I find myself looking longingly at courses in other departments. Indeed, the only thing I seem to enjoy is walking across campus with a coffee in hand. And quite frankly, that’s not exactly a reason to get a ph.d.
For years I always thought that I didn’t know who I was. I spent so much time worrying about what other people thought about me that I never took myself into account. But I’ve recently discovered that I know enough about myself to recognize that I don’t like the person I’m becoming. I feel like I’m well on my way to being Ebeneezer Scrooge before he spent an insomniac night with three ghosts and found his inner self. There’s more to it, but ultimately, it comes down to happiness. I would like to travel. I’d like to pay down my debt. I think I’d like to become a librarian. I’d like to enjoy writing and reading again.
So I might become an adjunct composition instructor, something I NEVER thought I would enjoy. I could still walk on campus with coffee in my hand (hell, grading those papers practically requires a caffeine drip). I could teach (which I love), I could eventually enroll in library school, and I could have time to be with Apparent Dip, with my family, and, of course, with the four idiot cats who run our lives. Hell, I might even have time to knit again! Or learn Arabic. Practice my French/German/Russian. Take piano lessons again. The possibilities are endless.
So do I do it?