Ain’t it funny how things change

Things Change 1

This past May I dropped out of grad school. I was seven years into a PhD thesis that I no longer loved, that some academic with better funding had scooped me on three years previously, and it was time to move on. There had been too many delays in the project; some were of my doing, but others were out of my control, and in the intervening time, my priorities had shifted. I no longer wanted to try to prove anything to the academic community, and I definitely did not want to try my limited chances at getting a tenured position in academia. So I left the program. The thesis remains half-finished, and my standing is A.B.D., which means that technically I can go back and finish it at some point if I wanted to. I don’t think I will. And I don’t regret my decision.

Things Change 2

It’s just weird that it was such a huge focus of my life for so long. It was the reason we moved to Newfoundland and had all those amazing experiences. And now it’s over. And this giant shelf that is double stacked with books on the subject no longer needs to fill this particular purpose. I’m not getting rid of the books, but I don’t need them to sit there every day and remind me of something I never finished.

Things Change 3

As I said, my priorities are shifting. The Pie and I are looking for a house to buy but until then we’re stuck in the Tower, which I am growing to dislike more with every passing month. But I don’t want to go through the time and expense of moving. Again. So we make do. And we shuffle things around.

Things Change 5

We only really have one common space with room to move around in and that’s our living room, which is the same room as our dining room. So when the Pie has the boys over and they’re playing games and making noise I wanted a place for myself where I can do my projects (for you, dear readers) and maybe binge-watch a bit of Netflix while I’m at it. Our bedroom is actually the largest room in the house, so we made the decision recently to buy a second TV (don’t judge me), and put it in the bedroom (I can hear you judging me).

Things Change 7

So I ditched the makeshift vanity that I realized I was never going to make (because I would never use it) and shuffled some things around.

Things Change 9

It’s not perfect, and it’s not pretty, but it’s making do with what I have and it’ll do until we move and I can set up something that I like better. For now I’m pretty impressed with how many moves that bookshelf and those two bedside tables have survived.

Things Change 8

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Author: allythebell

A corgi. A small boy. A sense of adventure. Chaos ensues.

20 thoughts on “Ain’t it funny how things change”

  1. How brave you have been, I really admire the strength of someone who decides to move on from something that is not wanted anymore. I follow your blog but this is the first time I comment, just to wish you the best of luck. This post is a real inspiration, thank you.

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  2. I hear you! I applied to a few PhD programs after undergrad. I got into one but ultimately decided that I wasn’t sure I was actually interested in academia. So I declined and got a regular 9 to 5 job. Honestly, I don’t regret it. Well, when my old classmates see me and they say, “oh wow, you’re still working at the doctor’s office? I’m doing XY and Z” I get a little annoyed but mostly because they’re so arrogant about it. What matters is we’re happy!

    I’m in the same boat as you in terms of not being super happy where I’m living but trying (desperately) to make it work haha. I have to stay off of Pinterest and remind myself that my life is not Pinterest or a magazine or what not. My life is real and messy and sometimes doesn’t look the best — but it’s MINE. 🙂

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  3. I think re-purposing a bit of furniture can really can change the way we see our space and ourselves. I’d rather look at board games, netflix and fun books than research books – and I love research. Congratulations to you on making the right choice for yourself (and the Pie and Gren, of course). Not all things deserve to be finished, even when they’ve taken years of our lives.

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  4. If those books were all for your program and you had no plans on finishing the program (or the books), then good riddance! And who cares if it doesn’t “look pretty?” If it gets the job done for the time being that’s better than being stuck with something you don’t like.

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  5. We have a TV in our bedroom too. Not judging you. Trust me. 🙂 The dark, rainy Oregon winter months are coming, so both TVs will get much use.

    Newfoundland! Have never been there, but have always wanted to go. It looks such a breathtaking place when I see it in photos and on TV. (Husband and I are big fans of Republic of Doyle.) See? There’s the TV thing again…

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  6. I have a close friend who’s struggling with his pHd so I can grasp how brave it is to start afresh! Also, moving furniture around can really make a room feel different and more likeable – I’ve just started my third year at uni and it’s taken me several attempts to make my room feel like home!

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    1. It’s definitely more of a challenge with a small space that needs to serve multiple purposes. I have a hard time with multiple rooms and multiple purposes so I’d never want to go back to just one room – you’re one brave soul!

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  7. As a undergraduate college student who is about to graduate who has no idea whether I should further my education, this post has inspired me to just take it one day at a time because we are forever changing. Thank you for the read!

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  8. It sounds like you made the right choice. Our passions change over time and sometimes the best thing we can do is let old ones go, no matter how much was invested into them. Good luck with your next venture!

    Liked by 1 person

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