It just hit, the dissertation anxiety. I'm mid-data collection and just looked at my timeline. Really? I said I would have my preliminary analysis done in a month? I should probably have my interviews complete in the next six weeks? *I* am responsible for making this project so big? Oh, that was me??
In case you wonder what I looked like today:
Now, I've been surprisingly chill about my dissertation up until, oh, right now. I've been traveling for research, meeting people, doing interviews, making this the most productive summer of my life.
And yet... I can't help but feel like this:
For awhile, I was like this:
All excited about knowledge and making a contribution to my field.
But then summer hit, and I felt like this:
Yet, still somewhat optimistic because as I mentioned before, I actually have been working so far this summer.
Only... there is so much to be done. And I'm having trouble securing certain interviews and my self-imposed deadlines are looming. And I want to graduate and find a job. And, and, and... I feel like this:
Only with a dissertation on top of my head.
Then again, I remember how my dear friend Sarah described the process of doing her dissertation year before last. She told me that after I wrote my prospectus, it'd be like riding a bicycle down a steep hill. Fast and scary, but thrilling. So ladies and gents, I'm on the Dissertation Downhill, helmet on, eyes focused. Do forgive me for being MIA over the next nine months (especially you family and friends I see in the flesh from time to time). I'm certain that I'll be back with a vengeance right about the time you can start calling me "doctor."
Until then, I'm going to keep my nose to the grindstone, do my best and try to maintain an attitude more like this:
P.S. Do you or anyone you know of work for the Transportation Security Administration? I'd love to chat about working in the airport... e-mail bluestmuse(at)gmail(dot)com.
Labels: academia, anxiety, ASU, Cactus Land, challenging things, deadlines, dissertation, humor, metaphor, personal, school, TSA