Since my phone interview, things have been quiet on the job-hunt-front. There is a small part of me that continues to believe that everything will work out somehow, but mostly, I'm pretty terrified of what that working out scenario will look like, and if it will be what I imagined myself doing all these years. These feelings led me to take the weekend off to catch up on knitting and thinking and get things straight in my head.
I think the job market is scary for me because as a postdoc, I feel as though a huge chunk of my life has been preparation for this catapult into the real world (in so far as an academic position is a real-world job). Don't get me wrong, its not that I have been waiting for this moment all along. I have been charged up by my PhD experience, as well as the two-year postdoc I've been lucky enough to enjoy. All of it combined makes me think that I will love an academic job, and that I am cut out for this, despite many doubts I have about my abilities.
Still, even if I've enjoyed it, it has been mostly preparation for a permanent and paid position. Whatever that ends up being, I feel sure that the upcoming changes in my life will set the stage for what "the rest of my life" ends up looking like. I don't know if this means that I've been fully brainwashed into an academic way of thinking, where there are two main paths -- academia or doom. I'm probably unusual as an academic because I am pretty close to a fair number of PhD's who work outside of academia, even though they hadn't planned to do so initially. So, while I understand that it isn't doom on the other side, there is a clear difference about the possibilities of each type of position, and for me, the appeal stays in the academic realm for most of what I want to do with my life right now. This might change, but that is how I feel at the moment.
As high as the stakes are, all I can do is just hold on and hope for the best. After all, fears and anxieties are part of the thrill of the ride that I've picked for myself. As uncomfortable as it feels right now, that is part of what I signed up for when I got off the couch and went to grad. school.