I Quit

I did it.

I told my department chair that I plan to resign at the end of the semester. I’ll actually take an unpaid year of absence first so that I can wrap things up with grad students who are finishing soon and continue writing recommendation letters. But after a year, that’s it. I told myself five years ago that my life was half over, and that I had to start using and spending all that I accumulated in the first half of my life. This is it.

I’ve been prepping for this for so long that I thought it would be a much bigger deal. A couple of months back I even started writing a draft post of reasons why I should resign. I planned to read and revise it as a way to motivate and persuade myself. I looked at it this weekend and wasn’t inspired at all—peppered with clichés and strained justifications. I realized that I’d already made the decision a long time ago, and I don’t need to persuade anybody else. I wrote a post about boners instead.


Posted on November 5, 2012, in Academic History, My Life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Congratulations. Good luck with whatever is next.

    • Thanks much. The immediate ‘next’ is a massage course in Thailand and checking out my girlfriend’s small businesses there. Mid-run probabilities are tantric training and an extended visit with my girlfriend to Peru for ayahuasca. Long-run plans will surely be shaped by whatever happens in the mid-run. . . . Not to mention the need to feed those money-demons; or better, to help them transform into something else.

  2. It is about time. The boner post was not necessary.

    • Yeah, it sure is about time. Thanks for reading for so long, Quay.

      Although I actually quite like the boner post. I think it was just the right thing for a transition into a new life. My original draft post on why I should quit was written in my usual academic style of analysis and generalization intended to persuade. As I reread it, I was overwhelmed by the many layers of bullshit and self-deception. Enough already. I barely even persuade myself (look how long it took me to resign), much less anybody else.

      The boner post opens up new directions in both content and style. It was basically an attempt to describe a sensation. As I wrote, I was constantly aware of the failure of my words to adequately represent that sensation. And if words fail, how much more of a catastrophe must be those huge concepts and generalizations of analysis!. But it didn’t really matter. I wasn’t trying to persuade, just to explore.

      Of course, I did end on a generalization about the metaphorical possibilities of different genitalia. Old habits die hard. And, to be honest, I don’t yet want to kill those habits; just break down their hubris and make them more self-aware.

  3. Another thought, unhistoricist – you delve in to the psychedelic, wisely, but tend towards easier trips (like ayhausca). Might I recommend something far more serious? Try DMT, if you can procure some. It will surely rend the fabric of your life. This will be in a good way.

    • Thanks, Lilith.
      I’m finding that the tendency to express happiness for my choice is in inverse proportion to how well I know somebody. The closer that people are to me, the less they want me to change. (Except for my girlfriend, Luna, who has always been gloriously indifferent to my job.)

      It is nice to be reminded that change can still be something to celebrate!

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