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Patchwork Punch-clock

16 August 201810:02PMlife

So I got another job.

The reasons for that are, as always, complex and multifaceted. At least part of it was a sense that I'd outgrown the job I was in, and I was looking for something a bit different, and a bit more challenging, and a bit new.

But I also thought it would bring me stability. The last few months had been a little bit... haphazard. I had my regular presenting shifts. I had my prac to finish. I had a research project into VR for my final bit of course credit. I was tutoring, and marking, two classes of first years, and giving a couple of guest lectures and tutes on top of that. I was freelancing. And I was - in theory, if not in practice - editing my thesis for publication as well.

patchwork

Because of many of these things, and despite some of the others, I managed to graduate only one semester late.

Amongst all that stuff, it was nice to take a moment to appreciate the fact that hey - we made it.

This was a graduation for me, not for my parents. I got a nice haircut, so I wouldn't have hat hair like last time, and booked a photographer I actually knew. Because with all the blurred lines, a defined endpoint is nice. Doing one last thing together as a proper little cohort was nice too.

And afterwards, my mum told me to go and do something fun.

I went and found my supervisor.

And we dropped our robes in the same old office and went down to the pub. Not as a student and a supervisor, but as colleagues. And that was really nice.

patchwork

I thought things might let up a bit after that. I was mistaken.

I was presenting most days again. I was freelancing again too. I was doing content management for a website redevelopment. I was still working on that same research project, and probably half a dozen more side projects as well.

It was quite the roller-coaster. I learned all kinds of new skills.

And despite many of these things - perhaps because of some of the others - I somehow found time to apply for that elusive, seductive, full time job.

I'm not going to lie, I struggled with that a bit. When I got the offer, I spent an anguished afternoon sitting at a park bench journalling it out. Was I making a mistake, leaving the cobbled-together casual-freelance life for "stability" and "job security"? Did I owe it to myself to try and make this thing I had work? Was I selling out my freedom to choose how I spend my time?

Did I really want to stick to one full-time job, just so I'd be too busy to worry about anything else?

In the end, of course, none of it mattered. The Norns in Human Resources stared at the threads of my life and cast their omens, and offered me two part-time jobs instead.

(Now I feel like now I can legitimately say hey - I didn't choose the gig life. The gig life chose me.)

patchwork

So I'm still two days a week here, and one day a week there, and spend Tuesday afternoons somewhere else a-tutoring.

And I'm still not sure what comes next.

But that's okay.

I will keep piecing things together, because in the end that's all anyone's life is anyway. The sooner you own that the sooner you'll be able to take a little bit more of an active hand in guiding your fate.

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.

And when life pulls you in many directions, you make a patchwork.

patchwork

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