Today I woke up with that Rolling Stone’s song in my head: “You can’t always get what you want”. Really? In fact lately I’m leaning towards the “Be careful with what you wish for”. But this brings the big question: Do I really know what I want? Do YOU really know what you want?
Professionally speaking, of course postdocs want a job. A REAL job, one that brings stability, professional realization. Personally, as a single woman reaching my 40s, I still hope to find someone that I can share my life with and start a family. Am I asking too much? That’s what I’ve been telling myself for a while now. But is it? Really asking too much?
I described myself as a postdoc looking for a TT position. That’s always what I’ve dreamed of, having a lab, gathering people around to continue my research. Teaching undergrads and graduate students to be scientists. Lately I have been very cranky and thinking a lot about my future. Of course, this has a lot to do with a certain Mr Handsome that appeared into my life. That bothered me a lot, specially because I don’t want to change any plans of life because of anyone. At least not now. But after reflecting on the issue for a couple of days I realized that this has nothing to do with him. He was just the trigger.
I explain. I’ve been seriously disappointed with the academic situation. I’ve been attending to job talks at my University where all I see are candidates with glam publications or grants. As I have neither of those, my dream of getting a TT position gets farther and farther away every day. But as always, I tend not to really think about my problems, and keep postponing the pain. After meeting him, and being directly asked if I wouldn’t want to continue living in this town (he probably couldn’t move anywhere), it really made me think.
Is a TT position what I really want? Do I want to deal with the pressure of getting grants and tenure status? Would I be happy if I would just do science somewhere? Is it really that bad if I turn into an research assistant and continue here if our R01 gets renewed? I feel like if I had a little bit more freedom in my research (i.e. get a personal grant) I would be pretty much happy and with a certain stability. Food for thoughts…