Who Am I Without a Job?

Farbstudie Quadrate by Wassily Kandinsky OSA472

I was 27 and I had just completed two years working as a law clerk when I accompanied my husband to the American School of Classical Studies (ACSC) in Athens, Greece for his graduate work. The program involved spending one full year participating in extensive on-site explorations of ancient sites, and I was lucky enough to join in the multi-week trips that the graduate students took studying places, buildings and ruins that most tourists don’t even know exist.  It was a terrific, unforgettable experience, one that I reminisce about to this day. I had a job at a large law firm waiting for me when we returned and so was not anxious about my own prospects. Yet much to my surprise, and despite the wonderful time I had living and studying in Greece, I did not like the feeling of depending on my husband for money even for a short time. It was also strange to constantly explain my presence in Greece relative to him. I had gotten used to having my own identity as a law clerk, where I thrived on my critical role in court processes and proceedings. (What happens next?)

A Recovering Perfectionist on Motherhood

Vincent_van_Gogh_-_First_Steps,_after_Millet

I’ve never considered myself a baby person. I’d always been the sort to say “I might not want kids,” sometimes just to see how people responded, but mostly because I really wasn’t sure. After my ideas about parenthood softened, however, and I observed that the flexibility I had as a PhD student could be advantageous, my partner and I decided to go for it.

I thought I had everything figured out: I was in the last year of my program and was a shoe-in for a prestigious post-doc position close to home. Tending toward the over-achiever-perfectionist side of the spectrum, my plan was simple: 1) finish writing my dissertation while pregnant, 2) have the baby in the spring, 3) start the post-doc at the end of the summer, 4) excel at said post-doc and advance in career, 5) balance motherhood in the mix during said career advancement.

You see how this is going to go, don’t you? (What happens next?)

Can People Change?

monkey-riding-a-four-headed-beast-1982

It’s a new year!

We hope you had a great winter holiday with your friends and family. In addition to excessive amounts of food and beverage intake, this is also a time of year for reflection. Which means we’ve all been giving lots of thought (too much thought?) to the ways we want and plan to change (or want and plan for others to).

I’ve been interested in the question of whether, how, and why people change for a long time. And let me admit right up front that I have a bias: I absolutely believe that people are capable of changing. This is something I’ve seen in my personal life and in my relationships. Still, the circumstances of lasting change remain a bit mysterious. I wanted to talk to someone with a unique perspective on this, so I turned to Craig dos Santos. Craig is an interesting case because he strongly believes people can and do change – but says willpower has nothing to do with it. (What happens next?)

The Magic of New

FK1A2626

Last month, Colin and I were in Seattle for a long weekend, and we took a day trip to explore Bainbridge Island. We drove our rental car onto the ferry for a short, 25 minute ride from downtown Seattle across the Puget Sound. The ferry was a mix of tourists, like us, and regulars that found the ferry ride so routine they didn’t bother getting out of their cars.

The regulars looked bored and listless, slumped at their steering wheels. They were inured to the beauty of the Seattle skyline, the peaking waves, and the majestic view of Mt. Rainier. They didn’t bother to notice how, on this day, the sky was bluer than normal and cloudless. (What happens next?)