For once I have no idea what this blog is about, other than to send my general dissatisfaction with the PhD (and therefore the world) out in to the void.
Ever have one of those weeks when it feels like literally everything is unravelling before your eyes and there is nothing at all you can do about it? I’m having one of those. Very specifically this week has seemed a focal point for all the utter chaos in my life and mind, though in fact perhaps its just been an ongoing phenomenon that is now reaching it’s height. Or perhaps its just a really really bad week.
The specifics are full or the personally specific details I avoid carefully here to keep this blog fairly anonymous to the wider world. Suffice to say that my home and personal life is as much of a mess as my professional life at the moment.
Let’s start professional that’s so much easier....
A week ago I was midway through filling in an application form for another job, I had really and truly reached the point of ‘I can’t go on’. It was a job I’d have really liked...4 years ago. I was talking about strategies for finishing the PhD while doing other jobs that weren’t lecturing. Ultimately it was pride that stopped me , pride that wouldn’t let me go back to being an administrator (albeit somewhere I’d have desperately wanted to work in both cases) That doesn’t mean I still don’t wonder if that was the right decision.
My teaching this term has made me miserable, and it’s nobody’s fault, if anything it’s mine for not being good enough. I’m still learning and part of me knows I’m good but I still fail occasionally and I don’t know how to fix it.
And my PhD, I’m drowning and stalled all at once. I can’t seem to make sense of anything and I don’t seem to be able to find the time or the headspace to do anything about it. And the more I can’t seem to get anything done, the more I panic. It’s like a huge white cloud has been stuck in my head for months, occasionally it parts and there’s a moment of clarity but then it’s back again and I’m blind.
And for the rest...
Is it possible to be simultaneously happier than you’ve ever been and at the same time more unhappy than you’ve ever been? Because that’s the best way to sum up how I feel right now. I have better friends than I’ve ever had I have a better social life than I’ve had in a long while (which actually isn’t saying much by most people’s standards) but I am not happy.
I’ve lived at home far too long, both in the sense of coming back to my hometown and physically being at home. I feel stalled, like my life froze five years ago and the rest of my peer group are steaming ahead with all the things you’re supposed to be doing and I’m not. I can’t blame living at home, or I shouldn’t but I feel like I’ve missed my 20s already. How many times have I been horrendously drunk in the last 5 years? 3 maybe. How many dates have I been on? 3? 5? How many times have I skipped dinner or gone to bed after midnight for no good reason? Or gone away for a random weekend just because? It’s all silly and trivial but it isolates me from other people my age-and myself and what I do manage that well enough. I also just feel trapped, as if the years spent away-and I went far away and stayed away-never happened. Sad though it is and busy as I am, I’m also quite lonely because I feel so disconnected from the experiences and lives of other people my age, and I wonder if I’ll ever catch up.
My poor brain has gone into overdrive trying to process all this. No wonder I’m not getting any work done.