Well. I’ve kept this relatively quiet, mostly out of fear that SOMETHING will go wrong, and it won’t happen, and I will have told people good news and then have to untell them.
But, unless something goes drastically wrong between now and Thursday, this is my last Sunday without…. drum roll please… needing to be ready for WORK on Monday morning.
That’s right. Work. Paid employment. In archaeology, no less.
I still can’t believe it. I am so delighted and feel so lucky to be joining what I know is an absolutely wonderful team, part of a larger organisation I have long admired. I will be joining the Portable Antiquities Scheme as a Finds Liaison Officer, covering Devon and Somerset supporting the current and brilliant FLO, Laura Burnett.
A year ago, if you had asked me, I would have told you my career in archaeology was dead and buried. No puns intended. I was investigating how to train in midwifery. I thought it was over, and it hurt so much that I didn’t want to keep on writing and trying and investing in this archaeological life anymore. Then the book came out, and of course I had to. I had to face up to this discipline being so deeply entangled with who I am that I can’t fight it. I wrote another article that reviewers liked. I did a review I was proud of. The fire began to burn again. With it came self confidence, ebbing slowly back, until I applied for a job for the first time in 2 years, and didn’t get it. But by the time the rejection came, I’d seen an even better job, one that really excited me. It seemed so perfect. I wanted it so much. I did work experience at PAS as an undergraduate, long before the Etruscans swept me off into adventures in Italy and eventually elsewhere. It felt like coming home, back to the finds, the people, the community, that I had loved so much as a student. When the phone call came, I was ecstatic.
I can’t say how grateful I am for the support I’ve had to get here- my referees, my mentors, generous kind amazing people who’ve stood in my corner and given me their time through these last 4ish years of writing archaeology at night and nappy changing in the day time. I’m grateful to the friend I applied with, who gave me the confidence to go for it and her time doing prep together. I’m so grateful to the team I am joining for their flexibility, kindness and support, that I already appreciate so much.
I am writing this to share my good news, but also just in case it catches anyone in the dark place where you feel like giving up. Or you feel like you have given up. I’m not going to tell you to have faith in your dreams, or any Disneyfied lean in crap. Life isn’t like that. But it is surprising. And you never quite know what might be around the corner. It might just be something very good.