Since the end of May also saw the end of my 5 Minute Month series, July 1 seemed like a good time to kick off my return to work on this blog.
There’s an interesting symmetry in this decision, following a post-less month in June; the optimism that colored my final 5 Minute Month post was the direct result of what I felt was a very promising job interview for a non-academic job, which I was offered the next week, and where I am currently starting my third week of work. Yes, things moved just that fast — I was offered (and accepted) the position a few short days after the interview, with 1.5 weeks left to finish up an academic term, locate new housing for my wife and our 3 pets some 100-odd miles away, and move in, ready for the first week of work. If that doesn’t sound daunting to you, well… I don’t know what to say. 😉
So — June became a heady, surreal blur of movement, almost from the very first day of the month. I’ll blog more, eventually, about my new position and my thoughts on leaving academia behind for the foresee-able future (I say this only because one never knows where the next decade of life will take them, I think, and only fools bet on that length of time with certainty). For now, though, I’m enjoying figuring out how my skill set adapts to a new work environment and a new set of tasks. And I’ve also enjoyed, somewhat surprisingly, having no internet connection in my off-work hours; rather than pay for internet service to two homes simultaneously (we’re renting two places during a transition month), I elected to work “make do” with my Droid for a few weeks. This is, honestly, the first on-line time I’ve had to myself during the week for nearly 3 weeks, and I’m spending it wisely — WordPress and Facebook, of course.
But honestly, it’s been an interesting experience; I packed up a crate of books that I really wanted to read, and ran through one novel in my first two evenings off work, with several more to follow. During those first few evenings, alone in an empty townhouse/duplex with no furniture and a crate of books, I felt a kind of giddiness, a feeling akin to returning from the library or a book sale with a box of books when I was a kid, and knowing that I had entire days, nights, weeks to slowly work through them, letting the ink rub off on my fingers, smelling the dust and grit of the pages.
To put it bluntly — I was reading for fun, for joy, for the hell of it, reading just because I could. The handful of times I guiltily worked my way through a novel during my years in academia, usually in frantic bursts during holiday breaks or in furtive moments, early in the morning and late at night, over periods of weeks. But not this time, no. I stayed up late (too late!), sprawled on an air mattress, absorbed in sights, smells, sounds, people, places that rose up off the page like familiar spirits. Hell, I even thought a little bit about writing again, writing something just for fun, for joy, just because I could. Might do that sometime soon.
In the meantime, I’m going to ease my way back into the blog over the next few weeks, as I have the opportunity. Awhile back, I locked down a separate domain name, thinking I would start posting creative work there and focusing on academic / journalistic work over here on The Cognitive Turn. I’m going to decide if I want to follow through on that or not, and if so, what form the switch will take; right now I’m thinking that I might use the other domain as the cornerstone of what I hope will eventually be my own press imprint, but that’s thinking a ways down the road right now. In the meantime, enjoy summer, folks, and check back for more news!