I have been extremely busy setting up my freelancing business and it’s been really enjoyable. I’m networking with lots of people I never would have met in academia and it feels really good to have a practical service to offer. When you tell people, I research nineteenth-century whale watching, no one says to you, o0000h, that’s what you do? I have a Victorian photograph of a whale–maybe you could identify the photographer for me! But when you say, I do freelance writing and web design, everyone either needs a website update or knows someone who does. It feels good to be useful. I know I won’t do this forever, but I’m going to have fun while doing it. It also feels good to know that this stint of freelancing could lead to all sorts of other things, given how useful my newly acquired web skills are.
In terms of the reaction at my former institution, there have been a few nasty things said and done behind my back, but no direct confrontations, so I suppose that’s a good thing. And I feel gratified that the cowardice of certain people has been confirmed for me. There’s just a little more of my notice period to go, during which certain people could make things difficult for me, but it looks like they prefer to put their heads in the sand. No change there then. I can’t help but be bothered a bit by the fact that management clearly did not give a shit that I was leaving or that I had been subject to a lot of bad behaviour. I put up with a lot of crap and worked my ass off for that dreadful institution for five years and I have not received any recognition for it. That burns a bit. But, I’ve seen a lot of people get forced into retirement recently and they got almost the same treatment as I did. This was one of the big motivators of my decision to leave. I could never face having dedicated my life to one of these intitutions to get no thanks on forced retirement in my sixties. That is just too depressing to contemplate.
Nevermind, onward and upward!