Friday, February 26, 2010

Looking Back and Trying to Look Forward

We've waited for so long for this moment, the moment in which we'd have a more concrete idea of where we were going to end up and perhaps, (dare I say it?) settle down. And now that it's very, very close, we feel relief and, at the same time, an eerie and suspenseful expectation because the most unexpected thing of all happened, an interview at a "high place."

We're still a bit stunned, although now that it has passed, K has realized that the interview itself was not such a big deal. After all, he already works at an Ivy League institution and even during graduate school he'd been to conferences at such places and interacted with scientists from elite schools. The interactions he had during this week and in the previous interview have done him a world of good, particularly in getting him really fired up to work on his research.

Most importantly, in a short two week period we went from a sad "regret relapse" (which prompted me to go and finish the now infamous "regret post") to joyful expectation and relief. And now, looking at the past we can forget the regrets and realize that the choices that K made were absolutely the right ones. The latest interview made that clearer than day.

This afternoon we stopped at a store which has a panoramic view of big pharma and K turned to me and confidently said: "Now I can look at it and not feel any pain and regret. Now I know that it was all worth it." What a relief to hear him say that and feel it myself! I, the one who never even went in there. And I turned to him and said, "The Ivy League interview was the answer, wasn't it? It made it clear that you've made the right decision." And he agreed.

Of course the job offer should be the most important thing, but the recognition, the realization that your work is worth pursuing anywhere made it clear that what I wrote in the "regret post" is very true. The main reason K left the industry job is that he didn't/doesn't know the ropes of such a job and he most certainly "knows what it takes" to succeed in academia.

Now, I wish we were less anxious and expectant so we could just concentrate in planning and dreaming about the offer on hand, but it's just too difficult. Maybe it's all the disappointments of the past year, the nearly imperceptible but real changes that we underwent, but it seems that now we're more cautious, less innocent. And, of course, we're also allowed to dream with "high places," why not? So I feel a bit weird for not having once checked real estate or rental listings for the area in question, or stores, one of the first things I check. There was only one thing I searched for -- CSA farms :-). I guess I really value locally grown food, don't I? And I found a small farm that I really liked. It think I'll email the young farmer. It doesn't hurt, right? Since eating is our most basic need.

So, yeah, I'm trying to look forward to the future, but right now it's more comforting to look back at the past and see how things have turned out OK, better than we imagined.

Afterword - 10%!!:
I've been talking too much about K's job search, but, in case I forget, let me just say here, for the record, that everyone (former advisors, faculty people, etc) is saying that the fact that K had 3 interviews -- a 10% interview rate for the 30+ applications he sent -- in a bad year like this is simply AWESOME! The applicant pool has nearly doubled in some searches and there aren't that many positions to begin with, so he is very happy with 3 interviews and 1 offer so far. Who knows? Maybe he'll have more offers!

I'll keep you posted. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


Anjali said...

So happy you have at least one ace in the hole!

Congratulations to you both!!!

jo(e) said...

It's great to hear so much positive stuff going on.

And I love that a CSA farm was your priority!

M said...

Hooray for an offer!!!!