Leaving academia

I never did find another academic job. I found it deeply depressing to be unemployed or precariously employed, after investing so much in academia and getting so little.

In the end, I announced this:

I really think I’m done with academia. In spite of some good moments, it’s been 15 years of a lot of sadness, anxiety, heartbreak, cruel optimism, overwork, precarity, desperation, rejection and resignation. The longer my CV gets, the smaller I feel. And in the end, I can’t mourn something I won’t leave.

That was what I told my friends.

When I went back to work in software a little later, what I told my new employers was more prosaic. I liked doing software and doing academia, I said, but I left academia because it just wasn’t compatible with flourishing.

Can both versions be true?

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