Today's been two years since my viva.
On the one hand, some days I feel like an absolute failure because I'm not employed full-time yet and I haven't published my dissertation yet, and I only have two journal articles published (and they're not even in top journals). I look at jobs.ac.uk and beat myself up for not being qualified to apply for anything. My mind goes to a dark place and I regret doing the PhD--I tell myself it was a waste of time, I have over $200k in debt and I can't even find a job. I look at George, my only accomplishment of the past 2 years, and think it was all pointless. I spend most of my days reading Dr. Seuss instead of being Dr. Bettie.
On the other hand, I've got the "Dr." title and they can't take that away from me. My hard work and $200k+ has bought me the right to use that title, even if I never work again for the rest of my life. I've got a manuscript under revision for publication and a couple of working papers for future journal articles (and they'll be sent to top journals, too!). I occasionally see posts to apply for and they ignite that fire inside me again. They get me excited about research proposals and they make me dream about relocating and new possibilities. I look at George and think how cool it is for him to grow up with academic parents. I love spending my days having picnic lunches with him on the University quad, taking photos of him with red brick backdrops, reading journal articles with him snuggled up against me sleeping.
Two whole years/only two years...