My theme for this year is hard work. I don't know if it will get me a job, but I am sure as hell going to try. I have always strongly identified with Boxer, the horse character in Animal Farm, and now I want to just keep working harder to get where I want to be. It has been years since I read the book, but I remember that Boxer just kept waking up earlier, working harder, no matter what. It could be a stubbornly foolish compulsion. I could very well and end up without any academic positions, but I feel helpless to do anything else.
For a while, I was pretty panicked, and started to apply for things outside of academia. I realized I don't want those jobs and I couldn't put up the front for long enough. Instead of freaking myself out this year, I have decided to refocus my energy towards the jobs that I really want. I don't know if I'll keep feeling this way, but I will finish out the rest of the academic job cycle this year and see if it lands me anywhere different.
I haven't had this kind of clarity of vision in a long time, but I've been through so much in the last year that I feel like I'm not the same young woman I was at the start of 2010, full of naive hopefulness about what the year would hold for me in terms of jobs and relationships. By now, I've been hurt so hard in so many ways that I feel like whatever 2011 has in store for me, I'm ready, bring it on.