I have several ideas, but no inclination to sort them into a coherent narrative.
I guess the gist is this:
- Despite a sarcastic sense of humor, I am generally a "people pleaser" with a healthy fear of failure. Within the structure of school, this worked to my advantage. I am fine-tuned to respond to the risk/rewards within that setting.
- Because of the above, I worked very hard to get to a certain place in my career. However, long outside of academia, I haven't had structure in a long time. I'm doing 'ok' now, but I don't feel as though I am doing 'excellent', in part because there is no feedback mechanism.
- One potential venture could provide direct feedback, and could provide income: public speaking.
- I have a maniacal love/hate relationship with public speaking. As described elsewhere, results range from euphoria to brooding. The euphoria is absolutely a drug: if I received it 2 out of 10 times, it would be worth it. (Except for the total blow-ups, which are truly devastating).
- The tragic rub is that my international situation can make things complicated: there is one "milestone" with respect to immigration that would certainly help. As part of crafting a career within structure, it would be a no-brainer. However, it involves national identity, emotion, and commitment. These ingredients form a toxic soup of indecision that flies in the face of everything I have tried to build.
The upshot is that I may have opportunities to advance my career (*), but (a) I don't have a sense of structure to motivate me, and (b) there is some red-tape that has me in abject paralysis.
Given the work that I've put in this far, this is classified as a bummer.
(*) I fully realize that "advance my career" may be equivalent to "feed my seemingly insatiable vanity".