I need to be working on some paper revisions. I said I'd have them done this week, and I've barely begun.
But all I can think about is my return to work, one week from today, and it's breaking my heart. I never talk about my job/school on here, because I generally feel it's best to keep that separate from my online self. That's how one gets in trouble (dooced, if you will.) But right now I can't help it.
I'm a graduate student. But, in the sciences, that generally means you get paid to go to school. Generally through a research assistantship, or teaching assistantship. So you actually pay nothing for tuition, and you get paid to either teach or do research part time. The rest of the time you're expected to be working on your PhD. Furthermore, at my point, I don't actually take classes, I just go to the lab and do work. So, although I'm a student, it really feels like more of a job.
The plan all along has been for me to take a semester off then return in January. I thought 4.5 months off would be more than sufficient. I thought by that time I'd be itching to be around adults again. That I'd be bored at home all day. The problem is that I love it. I love spending all day with my baby. I love waking up and playing with her, doing a little housework during her afternoon nap. I love being able to be around when DH has time off and going on family outings.
The thought of leaving her next week is breaking my heart. The thought of missing part of her childhood makes me cry.
And what makes it even worse is that I don't have to return. I could choose to stay home. We can afford it. And I'm not sure I want to become a professor, so I'm not even sure whey I'm getting my PhD. The thought of getting it for self gratification no longer seems sufficient given what I'll miss.
But the thought of quitting is terrifying. Of becoming completely reliant on my husband. Of leaving the workplace. Of no longer being marketable. And I know I wouldn't want to stay home forever, so how do you re-enter the workplace? Once you leave a PhD program you're pretty much done; you just can't stay up on the science. So what would my future look like? What would my identity be? All of my friends, our friends, are in my discipline. I'm sure we'd still stay friends with several of them, but to lose that community would be hard.
This is what's on my mind.