I cried a bunch before bed last night. Jon finally brought me half an ambien so that I would sleep.
My career success has been a BIG part of my self-image for a long time. And I know full well that my skills, intelligence and competence aren’t going away. But somehow it all feels like a big hit.
I don’t yet have either a job (external validation) or a self-concept (internal) as a scholar/academic. So it feels very much like I am going from being something to being nothing specific. How am I supposed to think of myself as a scholar if I don’t have the chance to live the life of a scholar?
Couple that with money fears and the whole thing gets ugly and makes me cry. I had it under control for much of the evening, but it all came out around bedtime.
My major internal client at my day job is now freaking out about losing me. But his solution is “take 6 months off from school, do this full time, then revisit”. I don’t really want to. The fact is that the parts of this job that don’t bore me to tears annoy the crap out of me. I don’t like it or want to be here. The people are bland or annoying, the work is dull or annoying, and as my husband said last night, I’ll just come home cranky every night.
But if money is going to be the driving force of our life then, realistically, I should quit the PhD program and go back to making money. Part of why I wanted to get a PhD is the lifestyle, but money is part of lifestyle too…. I have the skills, education, and qualifications to make quite a LOT of money.
I guess the biggest part of the problem here is that we weren’t done preparing monetarily for this time and the part of my self-image that comes from my work is in limbo. Combine that with a high level of risk aversion and it starts to make staying and slowing/stalling school sound like a good plan. But then what have I been working toward?