Last week, to put it succinctly, was the week from hell.
I left for St. Louis to present at a conference on Wednesday, came home mid-afternoon Friday only to immediately head to the Fox Theatre with Justin to see Bob Dylan play Friday night. Saturday morning, after dropping Wednesday off at the dog boarders, we drove to Kalamazoo to see our friends Lauren and Eric get married. Sunday, after a pit stop at IKEA, we headed home where I was able to finally couch for the first time, it seemed, in weeks.
I only checked email twice on Monday. Twice! Clearly, I was tired and overworked.
Justin and I have been having a lot of conversations on what’s going to happen with me when on-campus classes are done for me in May (I’ll still be doing a few online classes for the summer session): I’ll be out of a job (the graduate program kicks students off of student assistantships after 36 credit hours and I hit 42 or 44 May 2010), Justin and I are getting married (to get health benefits – srsly), we’re moving somewhere but we’re not sure where. And then there is the honeymoon to contend with (UK? Italy? For how long?). In a short amount of time, a lot of stuff is going to be happening and I can’t plan for it because it is all dependent on whether or not I get a job offer and if so, where I’m going. And on top of that, if I don’t get a job offer, where do we move to? Justin has the luxury of telecommuting, and I know that if I can’t find a job in X time, he will support me, but I don’t want to have to do that.
It’s called having to pay $900/month in student loans, muthafucker. (“Down with your bourgeois education,” Justin says.) So then it goes back to, “What do you want to do! What do you want to do with your life!” and of course, “world domination” doesn’t necessarily pay the bills.
In all seriousness though, I stacked my interests and my work experience in the last two years to make myself as marketable as possible. I’ll have 18 months of academic librarianship under my belt, along with having presented at a conference, certification in archival work coupled with practicum experience, digital librarianship, special projects I’ve worked on with professors plus my own incredibly varied background.
I’m awesome and I know that.
One thing I keep musing on is just how far and to what extent I want to make librarianship and archival work my life — because I know me well enough to know that I will rabble rouse and want to change the world (I’ve already started that on campus here with the creation of a new student group that I did with three other students this summer), and while there are many incredibly awesome librarians and archivists out there who do similar rabble rousing things, the profession as a whole can be and is to some extent, incredibly backward and staid. As a student, looking at the work being done typically sums up one thing — that everything has to be committed to death and with that comes the death of innovation and moving forward. But as par usual, I’m digressing. As it stands, in addition to my course work and 20 hours of ref desk pimpin’, I currently am doing the following:
- President, ASIS&T,Wayne State student chapter.
- Vice President and co-founder, Progressive Librarians’ Guild, Wayne State student chapter.
- Communications chair, Graduate Employees’ Organizing Committee, Wayne State.
- Member, virtual reference committee for new technologies, Wayne State Library system.
- Digital technologies librarian liaison, various roles/responsibilities 1.
I can see my life going in a variety of directions, and I know that I’m flexible enough with my skillset that if I don’t like how one way goes, I can totally switch it to another. The problem, however, is that I’m not quite sure if I want to be a rabble rouser anymore — my own work and interests seem to get pushed to the side because when I take on something, I like to think I give it 110% of my focus – and I know it is because of this that makes me so good at what I do.
Writing, for example, has gone to the way side. Not just missing a few days or a few weeks but it’s been since MAY since I’ve posted anything to this or my LiveJournal account, which I even barely check anymore. My other domain, biblyotheke.net is to represent my “professional portfolio” and that’s not even been tweaked with since I installed Indexhibit on it a few weeks ago.
The quandary I’m having is not only how I want to live my life, but how to live my life and make it meaningful. How do I balance a husband, a future family, a career and personal interests while giving myself Lisa-time? What type of jobs should I start looking for? Should I sell out? Consult? Write the “Great American Novel”? Do I want to work 60hrs a week and push family and personal life aside (like my mom)? And if my school involvement right now is any indicator, it can end up like that.
Because I find it incredibly difficult to say “No.”
1. I have not discussed with my freelance employers what I can and cannot post about my work for them, so for now, they remain anonymous.