How I Solved My Midlife Crisis

Did I want to simply 'phone in' my job for the next two decades and spend more time playing the banjo?

How I Solved My Midlife Crisis 1

Adam Niklewicz for The Chronicle

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Adam Niklewicz for The Chronicle

As I approached my 40th birthday, I joked to friends and colleagues that I was laying the groundwork for an impending midlife crisis. At 39, I felt I was doing really well for myself: I was a tenured associate professor of media studies at a rising research university in a booming city. I had published five well-regarded books with university presses and had completed three more. My courses were popular and drew strong evaluations from students. My administrative duties were relatively light