The clearing at the end of the path

As Roland Deschain might say, we’ve reached the clearing at the end of the path. Or rather (before anyone panics about my health), my career has. Yesterday was the final day of my fellowship at the Met; today is my first day of unemployment. Fortunately, thanks to my advisor’s generosity, I am still affiliated with my alma mater, the University of Michigan, which provides a satisfying intellectual veneer and, more importantly, library access (albeit remotely). But I am also now actively looking for work in such venues as the North Jersey Craigslist, which is depressing to say the least. I am looking for academic work too, of course, though anything for which I might apply now will likely not start until next summer or fall. But I am not optimistic about my chances. I have applied for over 200 academic jobs since the fall of 2013 when I began my search, and I have still not found lasting work. Now there’s a pandemic on, and my search is limited to the greater New York area, which means two things: 1) to get a job I will have be very lucky indeed, much luckier than I have ever been before, and 2) I need to find some way to making a living in the interim. Of course, I may very well get lucky! It is more difficult than ever these days to predict what will happen.