I’m tired. Restless and agitated. Emotional. Tired. Too long spent, too much trying to do too many things at the same time. It’s possible multi-tasking will be the death of me.
When you’re unemployed but still “working” – attempting order, focus, and optimism – but failing at most of those attempts because the data collection process is even more mind f-erry-ing than the darned proposal, forcing oneself to not give up on life and lay in bed crying a better part of the day has to be a conscious action. This morning’s conscious action is this little number, here, thanks to the ultra cute JT.
…if nothing else, if I ever get my final three participant interviews completed — THREE! That’s all I need THREE! If I ever get those completed, my dissertation will be the best personally edited publication, ever.
I go on Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel dates, and swipe right far too happily on the former app after three glasses of wine. Colors as follows: red in the winter, rose in the spring, and alternating that pink and whites when it’s stupidly sweaty hot in the summer. I dance and twirl in my living room listening to found-on-Spotify songs and while drinking that wine (pre, during, or post swipes) while Edie alternately watches in horror or goes to hide under the bed. My hair is ridiculously long; I like Essie’s nude/pink nail laquers; I live and die by my Urban Decay under eye concealer; I dream about DryBar blowouts that make my hair so big, curly, and bouncy; and I rejoiced when my Yelp profile was upgraded to “elite.”
Fact is, I can go on and on about so many insignificant things about me that someone can choose to cut down for my lack of ambition to be cutting edge and bold. Oh… I didn’t even go to what would be considered impressive schools. But, these are my happiness and bank withdrawals, so where’s the harm and foul? I’m not smug, and I’m not intentionally tangential.
I say bring it on, and while I’m allowing myself the carbs, how about I have some white bread on the side, too? You got me, there, I ALWAYS let myself have carbs (cellulite is out of control)! On that note, I need to go back to grading some papers. Oh, my MacBook is probably an indictment, too, but I’ll put on record I’ve been an Apple gal since my folks bought me a IIC in 1985/6 so I think I have a pass to have my Apple obsession without a side of snark. :o)
Seriously, let’s all just lay down some of the snark – my Lord knows I am guilty, there, too. We have so much rage, sadness, fear, and chaotic confusion happening right now, adopting a PSL philosophy to life might not be a bad thing (but I do draw the line at actually ordering PSLs – I think it’s entirely a thing to do with it still being over a 100F when PSL season comes about and I cannot reconcile the two).
It’s now been six weeks since my last interview for my data collection. At a minimum — minimum — I need 12 individual interview participants and 4 focus group participants. I am a little over half what is required for me to move forward with analysis. I thought the proposal phase of the dissertation was difficult – oh, wait, it was. There is nothing about my PhD journey that has been easy. I’m amazed the trials haven’t broken me. I am, however, 30 pounds heavier, 22 of which I can directly attribute to 2014 and beyond.
I must keep my frustration in check and find the work on which to continue to focus. I cannot afford to go to into the headspace of anger and impatience. I am… so close to the end goal. I have to wait, and persist, and find the positivity through this grind and also keep my head in the mind frame focused on vetting participants and coordinating with administrators at my study site. When I complete the data collection, then I will be able to leave Phoenix, and take that next step. Next step toward analysis and forming conclusions to defend as final actions to obtain my doctoral degree, and next step toward my next step in my life. I don’t have a hard plan and all of that figured out, and that lack of design is intentional. For the first time, I don’t have a set plan, and that sort of anarchistic, nebulous construct might actually be exactly what I need to level set. Because my “plans” in the past haven’t necessarily gone bad, but I wouldn’t say they’ve gone exceptionally well, either. And, I need to remember the words of my dissertation chair, without whom, I don’t believe I would have been able to come this far: the dissertation is supposed to be hard, the data collection is challenging, and more importantly, I can do this.
Today is her birthday. Ms. Keller’s. She also penned poignant messages regarding suffering, pain, and overcoming adversity. If anyone understands the struggle to finding the open door of opportunity, it’s surely her.
I left my employer 60 days ago, today.
Today is a sort of mini anniversary.
I retained my faculty role, but that is part time and inconsistent, dependent on scheduling cycles. Planning and set up my first weeks of unemployment to complete my dissertation data collection, I actually believed I would be able to accomplish so much more progress with my interviews with my open schedule. I did not factor an unexpected derailment in the form of obscure dates, paperwork filing, and administrative actions… and waiting and waiting.
What I did not factor in was the emotional fatigue of selling and donating almost all of my possessions. I had NO idea of how exhausting and disorienting the process of dismantling my Phoenix life while simultaneously attempting my data collection would be for me.
Hypothetically, I thought leaving my job would release the stress, but if anything, I feel more stress, I feel less grounded, I feel less certain about my next step, than ever (ever) before, and I am in adversity of my own creation. I’m in veritable Purgatory of sorts, and while I know this will pass and I will be able to eventually progress beyond the present situation, that does not mean any part of what I am doing… is… easy.
Which is why I love this quote by Helen Keller so much.
We owe fidelity to finding the open door.
Abandon blindness and looking toward only what is not working – there IS a way out and through.