There have been loads of recent changes in my life, not least of which has been graduating and becoming Postdoc Alice, and I'm trying to figure out where I'm going from here. Though there are days where I feel like I'm trapped into becoming a professor, there are other days when I see just HOW much of a choice it actually is.
A close friend left academia quite recently, and it has been one of these watershed moments in MY life, because she is the person who convinced me to apply to graduate school in the first place! I was not sure I wanted to go right out of undergrad, but she suggested that I should give it shot and see what happened. I haven't looked back since.
I suppose I have a form of survivors guilt, because I know that even though I've worked hard to get here, there has been a certain amount of randomness involved in my getting a postdoc while she didn't get any T-T or postdoc positions, and has been adjuncting (and as a result of a huge overload of courses, not getting much published) since she graduated three years ago. I know, its a familiar story. It just sounds different when someone that you care about, respect and even look up to ends up in that situation. It shook me to my core. It has made me far more grateful for my postdoc, and it has made me question just how badly I want to be a professor, and how much I am willing to sacrifice to get there.
I'm not saying that I have big answers to my big questions today, just that I've been mulling a lot of this around lately, and it has filled my days with a feeling of gratitude for where I am, and the choices that are in front of me when I wake up every morning. I'm glad I get to be Postdoc Alice, and I've changed my blog template to signify the new me.