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Happy Anniversary to Me—and My Story

On September 1, 2013, my husband, the cat, and I loaded up our stuff and set out from central New Jersey for Chicago. I was actually about 7 years too late. I had applied to grad school there in 2005, but didn’t get in. Then, when I was finishing up my PhD, I applied to work at a school in the city in 2010, and didn’t get selected for the job. In 2013 I decided that I was done waiting for an invitation, and here I am.

But how did I get here? And why did it take so long? The simple answer is that it needed to. I had opportunities elsewhere, and that’s where I went. I looked at my options, and said “ok, I’ll pick that one.” Each time I made the choice I did it was because I had the impression that my options were limited. And based on the game I was playing, they were. It was only when I decided to try my hand at another game that the possibilities started to open up.

It was not easy to shift my focus. For one thing, I tried to import the rules of the old game into the new game, and that included an old idea of what it meant to succeed (I would be lying if I said I didn’t still struggle with this). The old game was shaped by assumptions I wanted to relinquish. And these assumptions are used to create a story that people who play the old game can understand and endorse.

What’s the new story for the new game? What’s the timeline? What are the highlights?

I’m working on it. In other words, I’m living it.

Because it’s mine.

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