Some months ago I did a post about why I don’t want another short-term contract in academia. The logical consequence of that was to apply only for jobs with a future. With June coming to an end, there are unlikely to be more of them advertised this year than the two for which I’ve just sent applications off, and the logical consequence of that is … well, you get the idea.

It feels a bit strange to be writing about this already. One doesn’t want quite to give up hope that it might work out. One is also worried about being misunderstood. The vagaries of ECR life and the job market definitely need more time than I’ve got now to strike the right balance between the inequities that quite obviously do exist and the positive experiences, between the times I’ve not done myself justice and the cases of plain bad luck, and all the various combinations thereof.

For now, I’m just surprised by how simple this is. I am happy to be without the disillusionment and frustration. For too long, the intellectual part of me has been morphing into a construct on which to fall back in order to keep trying, a kind of compensation for all manner of external circumstances; now it becomes something more genuine, more true to its own nature.

It’s the right time. And yet, true to the academic ways, I find myself close to 11 pm worrying away at a draft article that, as far as the grant agreement is concerned, does not need to be anything more than a draft article. I get the feeling that drawing a line is going to be harder than – in a sense, at least – I’d want it to be …