On not being a box to be ticked

by Anna Blanch on September 24, 2012

When there isn’t a clear way forward, where there is not a choice to be made yet, and especially when it is not even clear I should be “waiting” I do the strangest things. Granted, my version of strange and your version of strange probably look completely different.

It’s be an odd week. I’ve been told point-blank on multiple occasions in the last week that it’s very hard to put me in a box. 95% of me is pretty darn pleased with that. The idea of the box-ticking mundane has never appealed. But yet there’s 5% which would be quite happy to box-tick so i can pay the bills. It’s been my reality for the last few years to be the off one out – the expat, the one with the accent, the academic with the slightly odd backstory,

All of a sudden i’m back in a place where everyone speaks my language (not entirely, my sesquipedalian self is still an odd ball). In many ways i’m not different here  — not even having lived abroad is that out of the ordinary — we Australians have nomadic world-traveller in our very genes.

But the ex-pat re-entry aside, i’m finding myself in a situation i never thought i’d be in.

And i’m finding myself flailing about in the most spectacularly awkward of ways.

There ware parts of me that take risk, adventure, hopefuless, change and uncertainty in my stride. But being a single woman in the final stages of a PhD and facing the prospect of (not) finding a job, both in the “here and no must pay the rent and will sing for my supper immediate” and in the “MLA job list just opened last week and i’ve been preparing applications for jobs starting in August 2013” kind of way.

In addition, being an intense breed of bird, i’m trying to look more broadly at my life and think carefully about alternatives if I am unable to find a job molding the minds of college students somewhere in this small world.

I have quite a bit of fear around (not) finding a job. I’m sure on that front i’m completely normal and can tick the box all ABD’s- wondering if you’ll ever get out the other end without being an unemployed PhD graduate!

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