Friday, October 14, 2011

Lighting Candles

To completely misappropriate a phrase: It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

So I haven't quit grad school. Raise your hand if you're surprised.

No one?

Yeah, me either.

Disentangling myself from school is mentally complicated. It means letting go ideas of myself. Letting go of others' expectations of me. Giving myself permission to admit I made a mistake, which is very difficult for me. I'll put myself through hell and back---staying in a damaging relationship way too long, spending almost two years miserable on two continents, another two years deeply unhappy in Texas---rather than admit that I made a bad choice.

It's also logistically complicated. Grad school is currently providing my income (meager as it is) and health insurance.

So I haven't quit grad school. What I am doing is lighting candles. I'm updating my CV, checking job sites, putting out word that I'm looking for editing work. I'm looking into my options for a leave of absence or going part-time or just making a clean break.

So I haven't quit grad school, but I'm taking baby steps toward it. Creating the conditions that would make it possible.

Scary stuff.