Life can be thoroughly frustrating!
It's up; it's down.
This past weekend, we took a trip to Paradise for a mini-vacation. The Rocket Scientist had a three-day weekend for MLK day, so we took advantage of it.
One thing: Motel 6 is nice if all you need is a bed and a shower... you know, if you're passing through, but not such a good idea as a destination location (at least not with two young children). Okay, that's off my chest.
Somehow being back in Paradise tipped off some low feelings. Well, that, and my recent sense of despair regarding the current job season. I don't handle silence well. It's good to read BrightStar's description of the job search schedule for a post she's in the running for. First, looks like many places with early deadlines still drag their feet in the process. And (reality check) some of the schools I've applied are still open, or have just recently closed. Patience. Patience.
But, my wife and I have had long conversations (what else you gonna do on a road trip) about careers, and future plans. I said, "there comes a time when you can't keep your life on hold anymore." I'm just open to exploring. What options are available to me?
A few months ago, you may recall, I spoke with an academic career coach. I decided not to hire him. I guess what I've gotten repeatedly (and he was no exception) was that I'm really doing all the "right things". It's not like there's a list of items that I need to check off, and I need someone to inspire me or chastise me to get them checked. It's just... a mystery. So, I felt I was just as fine continuing what I was doing, without sending hundreds or thousands of dollars his way.
Now, I'm thinking I need to talk to someone. Talk to a career counselor. Talk about my options. Hear the wisdom of experience. Well, I thought I'd start with career services at my doctoral institution. About eight calls later, and several transfers (mostly to voice mail), I gave up on them. Looks like nothing is available to me without a fee... but it's not clear to whom I must pay this fee, how much it might be, and most importantly, what services might then be available to me.
Hmmm, I thought, well, if I've got to pay anyhow, maybe I should try to find something in my area. Hey, fancy this: I'm actually enrolling in a course through extension at a local university. Well, local is relative... on Friday for the first meeting of the class, it was about a 45 minute drive there, then about 2 hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic returning. FUN!
But, when I called them, I got about the same run around. Transfer here, check there. Nothing available unless you join alumni association. But I'm not an alum. Oh, that's fine, you can still join... but you wouldn't have access to in-person career counseling. But that's what I need. Oh, in that case, you should join the alumni association, and they'll give you a list of private counselors in the area, who will give you a discount off their fees.
Sheesh. This is my life. The whole point of seeking counseling is to take some burden off of me, to help me rethink where I am, where I'm heading, how to get there. You know, like handing off the map, and asking someone to help navigate. Only...
[SIGH] My parents, giving directions:
Mom: Okay, so you go to Laramar and Wilson... at the corner. Okay, so you'll see this old Shell station. It's really funny because the yellow of the sign looks almost brown. Anyway... you drive straight there, until you see a large bell, like the liberty bell, above a restaurant. I think it's still open. In any case, it used to be there, like 3... no 4 blocks down. Alright, so you keep going... then you'll see...
Dad: So... how do you want to come?
And they help me navigate still.