Maybe it's the hormones that ProfessorMe writes about. I don't know. But my cycle took a decidely downward trend this evening. Maybe it was reading through Letting them down easy over at Pilgrim/Heretic, and the numerous comments, about how to tell off job applicants who don't make the cut. (Okay, that's a bit harsh, but...)
You know what, I am so tired of this whole job search process. I am tired of all the effort and applications, and all the uncertainty, and all the self-doubt, and all the waiting. I'm sick to think someone at the other end might look at my cover letter or CV and get turned off for the stupidest of reasons, not because the reason is valid, but simply because well, hell, we've got another 84 applicants here, and I really never liked the word "myriad", so into the flaming bucket for you, buddy!
Okay, got that off my chest. The sad thing is, I recognize that being depressed and worrying about things is simply not productive. And to tell truth, I really would prefer to be productive. Not that I haven't been making progress. I'm writing again.
I guess another issue that's bugging me lately is reading and hearing about all these people who have gotten themselves tenure-track jobs, and they're still miserable. Yes, I see that satisfaction is in our attitudes and our expectations, not simply in our circumstance.
That's a hard one to deal with. It's much easier to simply see the world as acting on us. It's uncomfortable, but much easier to feel helpless than to expend the energy necessary to figure a way out of the quagmire.
One of my favorite mottos is: everyone who got where they are, started where they were. I guess when it comes down to it, what I expected when I went back to graduate school doesn't much matter, not now. I'm not there. I'm here. What I have to figure out is where I want to go, and how to get there.
It feels that I keep circling back. But it's not so simple as to say: I want to land a tenure-track job, because I want satisfaction in that job. And to discover what constitutes satisfaction is a far deeper and more important part of the equation. Perhaps the worst outcome would be to get a job that I think I want, only to discover the job adds nothing to my satisfaction. There's the clincher.