In a post I wrote for Conditionally Accepted, I reflected on my struggle to be successful in academia (i.e., play it “safe”) while being authentic, fulfilled, and happy. There just seems to be an imperfect balance between success and ______ (fill in the blank: authenticity, happiness, well-being, having a life). The better I get at being an academic by traditional, normative, safe standards, the more inauthentic, underwhelmed, and unhappy I feel. But, doing the things that are true to my passions and that make me happy take away time from those activities that will grant me tenure.
There is no known script for academics like me. And, the threshold of being just happy and authentic enough without risking one’s job, credibility, or status is never clear, nor is it universal. So, I stand at the start line of a lifetime of experimenting. Today’s example:
Ah, yes, a public, campus-wide announcement (at least to the LGBTQ newsletter subscribers) that I am queer and proud. Helllooooo Richmond!