Some days I am not a nice person.
I found out today that one of my friends has been offered a great job. Given the state of the academic job market at the best of times, this would be welcome news, but as it is right now, they are near ecstatic.
Yet, I can not seem to bring myself to be happy about it.
It’s not like we’re even remotely in the same field in the first place. There is literally zero chance that we’d ever be competing for the same jobs, or the same funding. I’ve actually competed with friends for jobs before and was totally happy for them – even when two of us were literally the only people interviewed and my friend got the job, not me.
Yet, I can not seem to bring myself to be happy about it now.
The job happens to be some place I want to live.
This has been an ongoing issue for me for a long time now. I like my job, despite its issues. I even liked my last job, the one I left behind for this current opportunity. The problem in both cases was never the job in and of itself, it was the location.
I was so miserable in my last job due to the location that I was almost deliberately sabotaging my personal relationships there looking for an excuse to leave.
In a way, I can already see myself doing the same thing here. I like my job, just not the city.
I forsee this being an ongoing problem for me. I suspect I won’t be happy until I’m living in a city I like, even if the job is less than ideal.
Would I give up academia for a job in London? Yes.
Would I give up geology for a job in NYC? Yes.
Would I give up everything for a job in San Fran or Vancouver? Yes.
What else would I do? Find an industry job. Go into consulting. Become a dive instructor. Use my skills for something non-geological.
I just think there comes a point where you need to put your sanity first. Put your relationships first. You can only do the long distance thing for so long. No, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out my partner lives in North America.
I think I’m losing myself trying to stick it out (both here and in academia in general), and while I might be winning the battle, I suspect I’m losing the war.
So as much as I’ve been trying all day, I just can’t seem to be happy for my friend.