Just letting you know that I am back to seriously considering the PhD. After working the Western History Association conference, having a great chat about my work with a cool historian, coming up with an off-the-hook dissertation topic that I can't stop being excited about, getting my prospectus done, hearing Alan Taylor talk about the different facets of being a historian, talking to my friends who came back from their new PhD programs for WHA, and seeing all my peeps present their research at the conference -- it just got me all stoked for being a historian again.
The fact of the matter is this-- at least in regards to the job market-- none of the boomer historians are retiring now because the economy is shit, but in 5 or 6 years they should all be retiring in droves, right? And my dissertation idea is really so awesome and so hip in terms of how anything has ever been done in my field that I feel more confident about applying to places out of my league. So yes, having realized yet again that being a historian has much to offer in terms of interest, fun and a high quality of life, I am going to draw up a big, fat list of good programs with good people to work with, showing little regard for where they are located or whether or not I think I could get in. Because really, it's worth the risk. Yes, yes, this is definitely one of those moments when I would like to climb to the top of a mountain and yell, "I HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER!!!" because I really, suddenly and forcefully feel that that's true.