I could say that the biggest challenge was 3 months of morning sickness. I could say that it was being pregnant for a full 40 weeks. Or dealing with a three year old.
But the biggest challenge of 2009 has been dealing with the hand I've been dealt. That hand, it seems, does not include a) a job as a professor or b) a new Camaro.
We decided to have another baby last year when it was clear I wouldn't be getting a job, and for the last year I thought I was doing quite a good job of getting over that fact and mourning the career that should have been.
And it really, really should have been. I have a great project, multiple publications, and teaching awards. In a real market, I should get interviews. I should get offers.
That, it seems is not to be.
There's still the outside chance that I'll creep in through the back door. That J will somehow wrangle me into something when he negotiates his offer.
It's just not the same, though. I've never wanted to ride on anyone's coattails. I've never wanted anything handed to me, and I've worked my ass off these last eight years to be good at what I do--good enough that I should be hire-able.
I'd make a damn good professor.
J has 6 interviews already this December, and with each call he gets I realize more and more that I didn't really mourn completely, that I didn't really finish dealing with this. I want to be excited for him--I am excited for him--but every time he gets another interview, my stomach sinks and I feel like curling up into a ball and crying.
Apparently, I am not as ok with the whole situation as I thought. Apparently, I was just distracted by morning sickness, 40 weeks of pregnancy, a dissertation defense, and an increasingly whiny 3- year-old.
Apparently, this is an on-going challenge. One that doesn't seem to have any end in sight.
The problem is that I'm a planner. I decide what I want; I figure out how to get it; I make a bunch of lists and a bunch of plans; I follow through. It's what I do. I'm really not good at dealing with failing.
The biggest challenge of 2009 is to re-envision my future and who I am. It's not been going so well the last month or so.