Identity Crisis

So, it’s been a while.  It is customary, when a blogger returns from a long absence, to explain one’s absence and give an accounting of one’s whereabouts.  I am not sure I have a good one to offer, except that, around the time when I stopped posting, a lot of really good things started to happen in my life, and blogging–which began as a therapeutic exercise–got boxed out.  At some point, last Spring, I fell in love with my dissertation and was writing so much that I had little energy left for blogging.  In addition, I had two articles accepted by excellent refereed journals. I won a fellowship that allowed me to spend the summer at an archive finishing my dissertation.  I also got funding that relieves me of my teaching responsibilities this semester, and as of three days ago, my defense was scheduled for mid-November.  I am putting the finishing touches on the final draft and poring over a list of 60ish job openings and postdocs in my field.

In short, I am in a very good place right now, and that, frankly, is a little terrifying. I have always, frankly, had a modest estimation of my own abilities as a researcher, writer, and academic in general.  I realize now that, in a way, that modest estimation has been a form of psychological protection. It’s going to sound really obvious, but if I don’t expect much of myself, then I can’t be disappointed.  Success, therefore, is more than a little scary. Though I don’t think of myself as superstitious, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.  It hasn’t yet, but there’s a long, bleak job hunting season ahead of me and plenty of time for the universe to take its revenge.

Does this little bout of navel-gazing presage a return to blogging? I am not sure.  I am, however, impressed that this site continues to get a few hundred hits a day.  You people have patience.

6 thoughts on “Identity Crisis

  1. Congratulations! I too find my style of blogging a bit out place when my offline life starts chugging along. I always appreciate hearing what you have to say though, and no bother about a wait, especially for such excellent reasons! The love of a dissertation is a profound and much-esteemed kind of love. 😀

  2. Firstly, congratulations! I’m a long-time lurker but first-time commenter, and it is so funny that you should post today. I just started my MA and am TAing for the first time, and have been haunting your blog for tips and encouragement, loving your content and wishing you would post again! And here you are. Even if you don’t add to this blog in the way that you used to, thanks so much for an excellent resource. Much obliged.

  3. Congratulations on the funding etc!! But its super good to hear that you fell in love with you dissertation and you had the money to spend time on it over the summer to get it done. Yay!

  4. “You guys have patience”

    …which in my case is because I know I really appreciate your writing. So there. You deserve tons of nice things. And success.

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