November 02, 2010

I don't know where to focus

Haven't posted in a while. Haven't played much either. Part of it was, that in the middle of September I went off to Germany for a little over two weeks. It was to attend a conference, to renew my VISA and to see family, but who am I kidding, it was also to see what the options were.

I am probably leaving the US in 2011, it was a fun 8 and a half years. The land that taught me how to gambool it up. I might not agree with everything you represent each time, but I'm closer in mind and body to you than most Europeans in many ways. It is a beautiful country, right now just thinking of the 8 years here, there are so many memories and experiences. Right now, I'm remembering distinctly that patch of State Route 93 through Arizona from Phoenix (coming from observing from the telescopes down south) through Las Vegas, driving through the Joshua Trees with the warm desert wind in my hair, the only thing on the radio being some country station from Laughlin advertising the River City Casino and the 1$ blackjack. The great sunset over Hoover Dam with the (back then) unfinished Pat Tilman bridge starting to show its ghostly silhouette.

But my husband got this job in Berlin, he's also a bit tired of the US, back to Germany it is. And I do love that, too. I know, I'm sounding like this whiny bride that has to decide between two great grooms or some cheesy plot like that. I really liked the people and the general atmosphere when I was back in September. It was almost like I was relearning something I had forgotten to do back then, but as I played tourist guide to some people attending the conference, they remarked that I told the stories much more vividly than many locals and that I had a sparkle in my eyes when I told local yore and legends.

So going back is pretty much settled, but what to do? It's not like there are signs out there - "astronomer for hire, apply within" sprinkled around Berlin. Yes, I am kind of sick of the academic world at the moment, but it's probably just temporary, I'm sure the second I'm in a "real" job, I will cry and will want to go back to research again. And then for a small window, I think it was something like 3 days I considered poker...

I started e-mailing people, people that had made the jump. Not necessarily into poker, but into uncertainty, doing what they loved, pursuing their passion. I kept telling myself it's not about the money, it's whether you can cut it! I know I can't rely on poker right now with my measly bankroll and my measly monthly winnings, but what if I had a professional attitude towards it? And then the e-mails started to come in, they were encouraging, that it was hard, but the best decision they ever made, a lot of them said. I was willing to give it a go. I was so close to the cliff and ready to jump.

The last day of the conference, however, some encouraging words from colleagues... No, astronomy can't lose you, are you nuts? Hey, let's do this thing together, we'll work something out, no I'm not swimming in money, but I'm sure we can scrape something together. I know you can do good work... WOW! As if I didn't have enough doubts to jump off the cliff, here were people holding me back, telling me to stay. Everywhere! It was soothing, but a bit startling at the same time. I wouldn't be able to play much for a long while, because I need to build something up again. The stress! The politics! The tons of work, easy work nowadays, but still lots of work.

And so I guess I'm chickening out on poker, I'll be the donk that will be stuck at 2/4 - 3/6 forever, because I just don't play enough. 5000 hands a month won't just cut it either way, it's a hobby and I should be glad I even make *some* $ at it.

This has been a month now, where I have been like this, telling myself that I shouldn't like leave a train in motion and spend all this work in setting another in motion again. But every now and then I think back to those 3 days, where I was absolutely certain to leave the normal working world, almost with a sense of longing, embracing the insecurity. But I gotta be an adult. I'm turning 32 tomorrow, or well, I guess it's today! Yes, I gotta be the adult... whimper!

Posted By bellatrix at 08:11 AM

8 Comments

Tags: introspection

8 Comments:

merry posted on December 13, 2010 at 14:40 PM

טוי_6

wow bella, big changes, wish you luck and it seems we are much closer now, you are welcome to visit... :)


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