It's been a while since we've had a good old-fashioned rant around here. And I'm feeling ranty. You know what I'm sick of, Internet?
I'm sick of my time not being my own. I'm sick of working constantly, days, evenings and weekends, seven days a week for eight or nine months out of the year.
I'm sick of people saying, "Oh, but you have summers off." I don't have summers off, because I don't get paid during the summer. So I have to go straight from end-of-semester, exam-taking, exam-grading, and term paper-writing hell, to cover letter-writing, resume-sending, job search-if-I-want-to-pay-my-rent-next-month hell, with not even a moment to take a deep breath in between. I'm sick of spending my summers working menial, low-paying, meaningless jobs. I'm sick of the all-or-nothing of brain overload during the school year versus the brain drought of working mindless monkey jobs during the summer.
I'm sick of trying to balance my teaching with my own studies, and feeling like I'm failing both my students and myself. I'm sick of the constant, never-ending stress. I'm sick of feeling like no matter how much I do, it's never enough.
I'm sick of being forced to devote myself to topics that are of no interest to me, while not being allowed the opportunity to pursue interests of my own, or the opportunity to find out if I even have interests of my own.
Grad school, you have taken away two years of my life and forced me to live in near-poverty. You have made me doubt myself, constantly wondering if I'm good enough, and you have contributed to the demise of a three year relationship. But you will not take anything more from me, grad school. For all these reasons and so many more, grad school, I'm quitting you. There's a whole wide world out there, and I want to explore it.
So long, grad school. It's been real, but for now, I choose myself, I choose my future, I choose travel, I choose France. I choose long walks and chocolate croissants and language barriers. I choose jet lag and lost luggage and and being all alone in a big city. I choose warm sunshine and cold drizzle, cobblestones and soft grass, Côte du Rhone and Stella Artois. I choose scandalous exchange rates, long train rides, and living out of a backpack, I choose buying baguettes that will never make it home with the end intact. I choose myself, I choose my future. I choose life.