Yesterday I opened my blog for the first time in several months and I started to write. This is how far I got…
It feels like today is the first day since I last posted in 2018 that I have been able…
I was going to end the sentence with “to exhale.” I just finished my midterm review reappointment review and the review committee gave me very positive feedback on my dossier and recommended my reappointment. That’s a great step on the way toward tenure and tells me that I’m “making progress toward a tenure review that is likely to have positive results.” That’s made me feel good because I have been working really, really hard. And, more importantly, I have been focusing on working in a way that I find professionally and personally fulfilling. It was an uphill battle to get the work started I’m happy with where my work is going and I’m glad that my peers see value in it.
But then it rained. Literally rained.
Saturday morning I was drinking coffee in bed when the phone rang. I don’t usually answer calls from numbers I don’t recognize, but something made the hair on my neck stand up. I answered, and it was the university police. The officer told me that there had been a partial collapse of the roof of our building and the ceiling had come down in my lab. The tone of his voice told me the situation wasn’t good. I threw on some clothes and ran in. The situation definitely wasn’t good. My feet are still wet with murky ceiling water.
I feel like I could really keep a stiff upper lip about a singular act of God, except that this is at least the fourth time in as many years that this has happened. My lab has flooded three times that I can remember and my office flooded once. I say “at least” because I feel like it’s possible it’s happened more times and they’ve all just blurred together. It feels like my lab is constantly getting destroyed.
My co-worker’s lab was also affected. I was sitting in my office when he came in and all I could do was burst into tears. I feel so silly crying, but I didn’t know what else to do. Crying felt like the only thing I could do. My upper lip is definitely not stiff.
In 24 hours I’ve gone from feeling like I had finally hit my stride – finally reached my race pace – to feeling like I’ve run into a wall. I’m just not sure what to do. It’s hard for me to envision building a career if I’ve also gotta play Noah and build an ark once a year.