beginnings/endings

It’s been decidedly quiet around here. I haven’t been posting much and I also haven’t been reading many of my favorite blogs lately. I’ve been busy with lots of things but mainly a new job!

Since I last wrote about my search for an academic position, I sent out a zillion more job applications and spent many more hours writing and rewriting cover letters. Most of the positions I applied for were ones that were related to my skills but not always a perfect fit. Then a job came up that sounded pretty exciting: academic adviser in the department of world languages and cultures at the university where I had already been teaching as a part-time lecturer. I’d know the faculty and the students, I’d be familiar with the college culture, I’d understand how the curriculum works, and I’d be in a full-time, permanent position. Sign me up!

I applied for the job (even though I was nearing six months pregnant) and held my breath.

I was called for an interview and I squeezed my huge belly into a blazer left unbuttoned.

I got the job and started a week later.

It has been a whirlwind since our new routine has begun. We now both work full-time and our daughter spends just a little bit longer at daycare each day. She moved into the two-year-olds room right before I started my new position and has done really well with all the added stimulation of a more structured learning environment and classmates that are older and a little more advanced. She’s learning and saying and trying new things out all the time.

Meanwhile, I am learning and trying new things out all the time as well. Moving from teaching to advising has not been a far stretch but has meant a pretty steep learning curve as my job started right when students returned to campus and my office and inbox were constantly full. But if the first crazy month is any indicator of how I’m going to like the job, I’d say things are looking good. I like my department and the students and the advising work suits my personality well.

We’re still learning how to balance two full-time jobs, a two-year-old, a very energetic dog, and running a home. And there’s me being in my third trimester now too. We’ll be adding a newborn to the mix in just a few short months. So there’s a lot to keep us busy and entertained these days. It’s also keeping me from doing much outside of work and my family; there’s a lot less time to spend online and on this space.

For now, I’m really enjoying the present: I love my new job, I love the time spent with my family, and I can’t wait to meet our new baby soon. I’ve been biking less as I’ve gotten larger and temperatures have steadily hovered in the mid 90s F and relying more on public transport. I’m seeing my midwives every two weeks now as we’re moving through the third trimester and I’m trying to get back into that mindset of calm and prepared as the birth approaches.

There are so many things to write about as we find ourselves settling into this new place in our lives but I’m having an increasingly hard time stepping back and reflecting when there is so much living to be done. I needed this space so much when I first started biking and wanted to find that community to help me figure it all out. I also needed this space because it provided a refuge from a physical location that wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I could escape here and I could daydream myself into more enticing spaces all within the bike and blog community found online. But now that we’re settling in, making a home, and finding a place where our family truly belongs, I’m finding it harder and harder to write about it and post about it as I once did.

I’m unsure of the future for this space for now. I want to keep it up as a resource for parents wanting to bike with their children or professionals wanting to start biking to work. It’s a place where I gathered all of my bike knowledge when I first started out and a place where I documented a year’s worth of Kidical Mass rides after I started the event in my community. There’s a lot here that I hope will be useful and helpful to readers as they find me. There’s also a story in here about a young family finding their way through grad school and new parenthood and job hunts and family traditions. And there’s so much more to be said and written, but whether that will take place here or elsewhere is unclear for now.

Can I just end this post with a huge THANK YOU to all of you who have read my words thus far and haven taken the time to comment? Thank you! Here’s to whatever the future may bring!

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{Bikes, a new baby, and the story of us.}
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22 Responses to beginnings/endings

  1. Joy says:

    CONGRATS on the new job! Have been reading since your days at Academichic and am so happy for you. (Is it weird that you can be so happy for someone you don’t “know” and haven’t met? I think not, in this internet age).

  2. Ann Wyse says:

    Hurray! Congratulations! Will miss you (until you’re (maybe?) back)!

  3. Rebecca says:

    Cute photo of C! Just dropping a note to say I read your post. Hope to see you soon!

  4. Ruth says:

    Congratulations on the job! That’s so great. Wonderful to hear how your family is thriving. I really hope you do keep blogging in some form – particularly about family and academic life – as your reflections have been quite meaningful to me (a step or two behind you). But I can certainly understand the rest of life squeezing out time for something like blogging. Either way, I wish you all the best!

  5. madam0wl says:

    Congrats! I’ve always thought being an academic adviser would be pretty fun. Maybe more busy-work and appointments during the day but less “take home” type work (compared to lecturing)? Best wishes!

  6. C.M. says:

    Aww, this makes me both sad and happy! I rarely comment, but I’ve been following you since Academichic and I really enjoy your writing. I’ll miss your insights and updates but I (like many others) will be here if/when you decide to check back in. Congratulations on the job! It sounds like a really great opportunity. And it sounds like you and your family are in a wonderful place right now. Best wishes!

  7. Ah, I actually had tears come to my eyes when I read this. I’m so happy for you to have found a great job after all that hard job searching, and I’m so glad your baby is thriving and your toddler is too. Your blog has been a gift to many, including myself, over the years (and your stint with Academichic… still missing it!) and I’m so happy for you to run into the future with your heart open and your eyes wide.

  8. Rita says:

    oh congrats on the new job! Much of my other thoughts have already been expressed by Emily but I want you to know I totally understand that feeling of life to be lived outside this space. Even though I’ll miss reading your posts, I am much happier that life is happening for you too! When I first got my current job I was too busy to come online and I struggled. But then I realized that the life to be had outside the online world was a good thing :) take care sweetie and all the best for the present time and those ahead!

  9. Alli says:

    S.,
    I’ve taken such pleasure and comfort in reading your posts, first on Academichic and later on this site. As someone with a similar situation and sensibility who is a few steps behind you, it’s been incredibly encouraging and heartwarming to read your thoughtful negotiation of the challenges of (academic)work-life balance. Congratulations on your beautiful family and new job! All the happiness in the world to you!

  10. Connie says:

    yay for the new job and yay for an exciting future.

  11. e says:

    What wonderful news! Congratulations on the new job!

  12. mama bicycle says:

    Congrats! You seem to find what you wanted in your life. Hope you and your family will do well. I, I wish I could ship Anjelino bike for two your children. I finally shipped an electric test Anjelino to Seattle to let local people to try out it. The fantastic bike is on the final track after the US customs. This is the exact forwarding although I’ve spend three years. I think it’s the real happiness when you and I ride a family bike and we can fully recommend the family bike to every mothers and fathers to spend wonderful time with their children, so I would appreciate it if you keep watching my sales once in a while. If you check this comment and feel you would like to test ride the Anjelino feel free to ask me. Thank you very much for your previous contribution and from now on

    mama bicycle Shuichi :)

  13. Jen says:

    Just so happy for you!! Best of luck with everything and I hope you come back here to write as you see fit.

  14. Marie says:

    Another round of congratulations to you, and also, a real thank you for sharing your life here, and on Academichic.

    I am a fellow academic (grad student in literature) and five months pregnant with our first, and thanks to your blog, I have not only had the courage to keep biking through pregnancy (something I probably never would have considered prior to reading Simply Bike), but I’ve also been reminded that there is hope for those of us on (or planning to be on) the academic job market. I have appreciated your positive perspective on balancing your family’s needs and your own professional dreams, and the fact that even when times were uncertain, you didn’t just sink into a morass of despair re: your Ph.D. and future career. There is so much negativity in our field; thank you for not contributing to that, and for truly modeling a different approach to life as an academic.

    Best of luck in this new job, and thank you again.

  15. Rachel says:

    I’m incredibly excited and happy for you! The new job sounds incredible and this is such an exciting time, especially with the new baby coming. I’m really glad it all worked out with the job situation and that persistence did pay off.

    I’ve been a really long time reader, all the way from academichic days when I was still an undergraduate. I still go back to academichic sometimes for tips on conference dressing and packing. I finished my masters degree this June and am now going on to a PhD – it’s been amazing to watch your life from a distance and I totally agree with comments above about how much you can feel like you get to know someone even without ever having met them. Whatever you choose to do with the blog, I’ve really loved following your journey and your life, and thank you for sharing so much with us.

  16. Petra says:

    S.
    congratulations on the new job and all the strength you need to balance all you have in your life.

    Kepp writing and let us know where to find you. I always enjoyed reading your posts on academichic an this place.

  17. simplybike says:

    Thank you all for such nice comments and kind words! I will see where things take me and maybe get a renewed wave of energy to take up posting again. It’s certainly not for a lack of things to write about that I take a step back for now. It’s just been good to take a break and focus on my new work and my family as my energy level continues to only allow me to truly do well a few things a day :)

    Thanks again for such nice words though, they make me feel like the time spent writing and putting myself out there has not been in vain!

    S.

  18. R says:

    Congratulations on your new job, S! In the past few years, I finished the Ph.D, worked on continuing to dress in a feminine way in a male dominated engineering field, started biking and now use it as my primary means of transportation, ran my first half marathon, moved to Europe in the pursuit of an academic career and am now trying to figure out what’s next for me my partner as he finishes his Ph.D. So unsurprisingly a lot of what you wrote about struck a chord with me. I want to say a heartfelt thank you to you for writing about things that were not easy to write about as well as for all the fashion/biking/running/lifestyle/family inspiration thoughout the years. It was always comforting to read about your experiences and I am extremely happy for you and your family and wish you all the very best in the future!

  19. Sue says:

    Best of luck to you S and to new beginnings. It’s certainly understandable that your family and the way you spend your time is first priority. I’ve checked back recently to see how you were doing. My how baby C has grown. It’s difficult to keep up with a blog, a growing family, and work. You have certainly succeeded at it for a very long time. I look forward to checking back again. Your blog was one of the first ones I ever startred reading and your life and family is a true inspiration to many people. I can’t imagine that you will completely go away :). Enjoy your time off.

    Sue
    Bicycles In Motion

  20. Christina says:

    Many congratulations on the new job! I had taken a blog break and am myself getting caught back up with reading my regular blogs. Lots of changes going on! Also, many well wishes on the new baby and birth! As to what to do with this blog space, I think it is very common for blogs to run their course and become homes to a collection of stories and knowledge. Keeping a blog running for years and years is hard and as our lives change, what we write about and/or have time to write about changes. No need to solve it all now, enjoy all of the new changes in your life and you’ll know over time what to do with this space :)

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