This is a self(ish) post. It is personal and contains no academic content. Except that it does.
I’m in the transition period between MA and PhD. It’s not limbo; I don’t feel free-floating, aimless in waiting, or still of mind. Each day feels like some sort of spirit quest in which I am learning and getting to know myself, and with each day come rituals that I explore and abandon to better prepare myself physically and mentally. Some breakfasts give more energy than others; some times for exercise seem more beneficial to my ability to concentrate; to-do lists rarely result in doing; I can’t work on my computer in bed; breaks really need to be timed; etc. What I didn’t anticipate is the level of inner reflection that I’m practicing – I slice vegetables and meditate, I run and think of my future scholarship, I cut strips of tape to hang pictures and think of the connections I have established, need to maintain, and where I want to relate next. I hope these are synapses connecting to establish habits of mind that will serve me well as I continue on. Leaving my MA program and school (and state and professors and self(s) space…) is difficult; despite all of the good advice I’ve received, the support I continue to get, and all that I now carry because of the program, nothing could quite prepare me for this. And what I’m realizing is that it couldn’t, not entirely – and this is where I come in. Momentum requires my energy, moving, acting, doing, making, thinking require me to do so. This probably seems trite, but to me, this is life changing. It’s the time/space to establish who I am (want to be, am being, what I have done/yet to do). I’m not just going into a PhD program, I am moving forward.
looking at myself(s)
Working to better myself and know myself better, I bought a Fitbit monitor.
I’m flipping vertical lists into horizontal plots to graph progress. I realize this doesn’t change anything I actually have to do, but changing perspective brings a change in perspective.
I’m working to create more malleable daily plans, or ones that can shift based on circumstances without being obliterated. Yesterday I planned to write the entire day (as if that wasn’t setting myself up for disaster) but was struck with one of the worst migraines I have gotten in a while. Unable to pick my head up, writing didn’t happen. But sideways note taking, sketching, light reading, and watching generative documentaries (documentaries on creating and object making) could happen with pause. Another change is perspective: days are not lost, they sometimes change their focus. I want to account for my time, but it rarely exists on a clear dichotomy of on task and off task.
I want to be able to represent myself in my academic activity. This means using this space in earnest, and making my action/working/making/doing/thinking visible. Blogging notes robustly, attending and reflecting on events, having conversations, producing scraps of scholarship; but too – hand drawn comics, lists, graphics, asides, wonderings. A more visible (and known) self.