On leaving academia

I’ve been thinking about writing on this topic for some time. It was a hard thing to do, leaving academia, and I know others face the same difficult decision. I fear my efforts may come across as self-indulgent, I don’t want to burden you with my pain. I’m not willing to share the whole story.

But I can tell you some things: how I arrived at my decision, the process of leaving, what I’ve done to try to find myself in the aftermath. Because I’m still floundering to achieve some sense of identity…to arrive at some understanding of who I am since I’m not an academic anymore. I’m a writer. I’m David’s wife. I’m a person who really likes dinner.

I’m a person who no longer cries every day. And this is a recent development. Up until last May, I was a person who cried every morning when I swiped my parking pass at work, a person who closed the door to my office so I could cry at my desk, and a person who came home and cried against my husband’s chest.

David and I talk about that sometimes – how nice it is that I don’t cry all the time anymore. It’s nice, and I didn’t know whether it would be possible. I wasn’t depressed, but I was unhappy.

When I left my job last May, I had only one goal: to stop crying every day. And I’ve achieved that.