It's been a while.
What have I been up to? Well, October was the busiest month of my unemployed life. I copy-edited a journal and organized a national anthropological conference in Cebu, and when I got back I got swamped with post-conference work: making the participant directory, making receipts, listing new members...and I'm not even finished (I still have tons of liquidation to do). I've been elected Secretary of the organization again--
--and one of the 'requirements' was that the officers have a degree in anthropology, or at least studying it, or actively involved in anthropological work--
--and I don't have a degree, I'm now on AWOL status in graduate school, and I'm not involved in any anthropological work whatsoever--
--but then nobody else wanted the job (who would? It's voluntary, takes up a lot of time, and is lots of work)--
--and so they decided I could keep the position, because I could do it, and I was free to do it (I don't have fieldwork, I'm based in the country, I'm a 30-minute ride from the "home base" of anthropology in Luzon, I have all the time in the world)--
--I'm thinking of sticking it out until October next year, when the Board elects officers again.
Sometime during the conference I got to chat with some of my classmates about academic life, how I've lost an appetite for finishing my master's. They encouraged me to finish, even giving suggestions on topics and advisers. I got to thinking to why I wanted to have a degree in the first place: I wanted to teach. For a time I didn't want to teach anymore; the academe didn't seem to be the place for me, after all. And then somehow I thought I wanted to teach again, considering the 'fun' classes my classmates were conducting: Bodies, Senses, and Humanity for one. And then there's this little niche in anthropology that hasn't been fully explored in the Philippines, and one of my classmates thought I could really focus on it. I've been skirting around the idea--how will it be 'accepted' in an academic community such as ours? I had doubts, but a few hours of internet research later, I was convinced. I could focus on it. It's right in my alley. Easy, right?
The thing is, I don't feel like doing my thesis now. Maybe sometime in the future, and I know I might probably end up going back to square one in graduate school, but what the heck. Not now. Now I want to explore other opportunities--I'm still young, after all--and I don't know, maybe I just want to prove to myself that there's plenty more that I can do outside school. Maybe I obsessed on the idea to teach too much to actually see that a lot of other opportunities have been passing me by, opportunities that would allow me to make more use of whatever skills and 'talent' I have.
And so, changes.
I've decided to become a writer.
Okay, that sounds funny. Or pretentious. Let me try it again:
I've decided to write for a living.
Too stupid? Noble? Okay, how about:
I've decided to turn my words into cash. I've decided to live on phrases. Very specific phrases, actually.
I've decided to offer my soul to the god of SEO.
It's not much of a surprise; I have been writing and editing articles on the side, anyway. My first job after college was magazine work. I did write reports and edit manuals in my past job. I can write well (or so my friends say). It would be pretty easy for me. Me writing for a living isn't surprising, really. I just happened to surprise myself, because I never thought I would take on writing to be my bread and butter.
I've been thinking about this blog too. Maybe it's time to be quiet here for a while. Perhaps a new blog is in order. It's like turning over a new leaf: whatever helps you change things up, do it. One of my former professors changed his nickname and announced it during our general assembly. [Sometimes names don't fit us anymore.] When I was asked my nickname (or what I wanted to be called) at my new job, I said Lauren, because it still fit, and I like my name.
But this blog.
I think I'll stop coming here for a while, see if I miss it, check to see if it still fits. Maybe it's time to close this book and start a new one, yes?