Dear Academia, I loved you, but I’m leaving you. This relationship is hurting me.

Lenny Teytelman:

It’s not the chasing you around for sometimes thousands of miles, leaving behind my family and friends over and over to follow you. It isn’t even because of the neglect or the mistreatment, the living in less than ideal or even normal dwellings because you had so few resources to sustain me, the lack of acknowledgment, appreciation, or respect for what I offered you. I spent my best (and peak reproductive) years with you, hoping that we could get to the point where we could finally settle down before it was too late for me. All of this took so much longer than you promised at the beginning of our relationship. No matter how hard I worked, you kept moving the target, saying “Oh I’ll commit when…”, but the list just kept growing. I sacrificed time, money, and sometimes physical and mental health to devote myself to you. And, believe me, there were others in line…promising commitment, stability, and respect. But I ignored them. I ignored the red flags. I had invested so much. I didn’t want to give up on us. You were just so damn…interesting…and I loved the people you connected me to. You really have a way of attracting wonderful people to you. People that care. I saw them start to drop away; start to distance themselves from you (or perhaps you from them). It started to become less clear what it was I had to do to stay with you, what you wanted out of me. It started to become apparent that you would not necessarily be there for me in the future.