Today is my last weekday before I re-enter the world of full-time employment for the first time since the end of August 2003 (six months at a call center in 2004-5 notwithstanding). In the first three years after I walked away from my Worldwide Support Manager job, I spent some time on a photography and video production business of my own, learning a lot about what I loved about the production side of media, as well as what I hated about the business behind it. I spent six months at a soul-sucking draconian high-volume call center, and finally went back to school for atmospheric science.
The time from late Fall 2005 through late Summer 2006 was filled with preparation for returning to school and taking make-up undergrad classes before starting at Purdue in August 2006. From then, through obtaining my M.S. in May 2009, and on through when I left the Ph.D. program just before I would have taken my prelim in May 2012 is, in some ways, very much a blur. The past year of job hunting has been alternately frustrating and exciting, and I’m looking forward not only to starting work on Monday, but to acclimating to and enjoying living in another state for the first time in my life.
Only a week into our move, and we’re still living among boxes and setting things up in our new home, and, since I start work on Monday, we may be doing so for a while, but we hope to get a few rooms in order this weekend. Even without being completely unpacked, I think I like this place (both home and community) a lot. And I don’t expect the new job to be perfect, but I think I have reasonable expectations, and, while I anticipate my share of days in which it will drive me insane (more so than I already am), I am hopeful those will be a minority. If there is one thing I have learned about myself over the last decade, it’s that, as far as job satisfaction is concerned, I have three main requirements: I like to learn, I like to help people, but I like to go home at night.
I wouldn’t have gotten through the last decade without Toni’s love and support. Nor would I have made it through without a graduate advisor who was willing to give me a chance, was generally reasonable, and extremely flexible; without the acceptance and friendship of lab mates, classmates, and colleagues; or without other friends who helped me deal with a lot of the crap that I had to shovel. I am also glad, of all the places in which I have had job possibilities, we’ve ended up somewhere with a good friend.
I feel bad in some ways about leaving some things behind in Indiana, like my biological family, especially with my Dad having some health issues, but I have always been able to guilt myself about not seeing them enough, and I am staying in touch with my closest sister via e-mail and the constant guilt is not good for me.
OK, so maybe it isn’t backing up nor is it punting. I think we’re definitely back to having forward momentum.