Choices 2

In my first post I discussed how I am at crossroads right now – I am seriously considering leaving a well-paid FT job and returning to FT study and adjunction (in Australia we don’t have adjuncts, it’s called ‘sessional’ work and we are called ‘sessionals’).  I think I can take 12 months leave without pay from my current job which cushions the decision a little bit, but … I am really worried about finances and surviving without a regular income. In order to take up sessional work, I have to move back to the city – I am currently living in  southwest coastal town and it is quite a bit cheaper to live. So moving will entail a decrease in income and an increase in expenditure – I would have to be crazy right?

I have to decide in the next few days as time is running out for me to give the required 4 weeks notice – even now I will be working for the first 2 weeks of term at my old job, but as the university semester starts 4 weeks later than the school term, I am considering this as a way to earn a little extra money before I go. I have also got a smallish lump sum payment due from a country teaching scholarship – If I leave now I can collect 50% of that scholarship (conversely, if I stay I gain another 50%) – and that is a cushion – although it was meant to be a nest-egg.

Being driven mad with the decision I have tried everything from pro and con lists to online (free) tarot readings and frantic google searches with some pretty suspect keywords. The simple fact is that I am the only one who can make this decision and right now it is costing me plenty not to make it. I am sleeping far more than I should – I technique I use to avoid, I am not getting any dissertation work done, I am stressed all the time and feel like I am walking around with a knot in my stomach and, I don’t know where I should be focusing. If I am staying then I need to start lesson plans and if I am going, I need to find a house, apply for my lump sum and notify my current job. Each decision has a TON of work to do and in resisting choosing, I am doing far more damage than in choosing incorrectly (but at least I still have a pay packet coming in!). Every night I tell myself that ‘tomorrow is the day I will get organised and make a decision’ but, like all great procrastinators, tomorrow never, ever gets here. The thing is, if I want to re-try academia or at least complete my doctorate then I have to leave my current job. Those of you from the USA will know that the academic job market there is abysmal at the moment but while the Australian market is not exactly overflowing with opportunity, it is in better shape than North America so it isn’t quite the suicide mission that it would be there.

I used to be fearless. I would have made a decision like this no problem at all – what I want is to go back to study so therefore I will go back to study. But I fell down once before and I am still living with the consequences of that fall so now I am far more cautious – although it seems that is not necessarily a good thing.

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