i seem to have run out of coy little ways to slip big news into innocent conversation, and i’ve been pretty damn tired lately. so, here’s the news:
we’re expecting to welcome a new person into the world in roughly a month.
there, i said it. after months of silence, and preceding what will likely be another dry spell as i frantically (exhaustedly) manage life and work preparations in advance of the onslaught of insanity, i blow off the blog dust with that.
but before we descend into further madness, i wanted to put some thoughts out there.
1. it seems like all kinds of people tell you there is no “right” time to have kids. so far, i have decided i both agree and disagree with this. personally, there was a time when this would have destroyed me. and i mean the entire experience. so absolutely there was a “wrong” time in my life, which basically comprised my entire 20s and everything before them. and certainly i can imagine things being a little bit better than they are presently, particularly on the issue of early-career job stability (not just for myself). but, eventually there was a point where good enough was good enough.
2. crippling cluelessness (and general unawareness of being in this state) is almost as bad as malice, but not quite. i do not have the luxury of a traditional employment situation. it’s great for my CV to have this nice award and all, but i have found myself in a lot of limbo due to people not knowing how to properly handle a temporary situation. this has caused me a great deal of stress that did not need to happen. had i been a traditional employee, i would have had more means to push back. and i am not one to *not* push back against damn near everything.
3. so far, attempting this in a postdoc-type career stage (i say “type” because my situation does not match exactly what one imagines in an academic postdoc) has been pretty decent. scientifically, i have a decent amount of autonomy. i am still free from quite a bit of the beat-you-over-the-head administrative stuff associated with my workplace, but i have a fair bit of lower level admin crap responsibilities. i am able to plan things out and make proper arrangements so that, after having busted my ass far too much in the lead-up weeks, i should have things in the hopper while i’m gone, with minimal experiments-ground-to-a-halt time. i am not sure how well this would have gone at any other career stage, though i’m sure it works out regardless.
4. i approached the news with a bit of trepidation, wondering how well i was going to handle this emotionally. especially as my work situation went through some difficulties early on. i don’t exactly come from a world that has shown me a lot of kindness. i’ve surprised myself, somehow i’ve actually rooted in more-solid ground and gained some confidence in my own inner strength and ability to handle my shit. i have had to dig up some old and painful stuff from many years ago for something that may be in my future. last year, i would have taken all of this very hard. now? i can take a deep breath and know that part of my life is never coming back for me.
i have overcommitted myself over the next few weeks in order to keep things flying while i’m gone. but i gotta learn some better balance in the long run… it’s not gonna be optional. already, the struggle to keep up with the pace i had previously set for myself has been instructive, to say the least.
but i couldn’t know what i was in for until i got here.