The road is rocky, crooked, winding, uneven, but it is there!

October 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

The fact that I have not been posting is not a great sign given that this blog is supposed to be an integral part of my creative/intellectual research and writing process. Unless I was writing full-time of course. Which I am not. Instead, I have been struggling harder than ever to find focus, inspiration, clarity, and to make progress. I do get work done every day. Usually lots of little tasks that have to be completed, but do not add up to much in the end. Because the end is a completed dissertation and that feels as far away as ever.

My rule is that if I am not working, if I find myself mindlessly and endlessly surfing the internet or snacking, then I have to either go out for a walk, or do exercise. I already worked out super intensely this morning and I am just back from a long walk. Right now I do have lunch/dinner bubbling away on the stove, a sort of stew with caramilzed onions, endive, mushrooms, cooked in olive oil, red wine, a touch of butter, and lots of different spices. I even bought a small piece of red meat, something I have not had since arriving in France at the beginning of August, which I cut into long slices and threw into the pot. I started thinking, I am used to eating red meat, maybe my B vitamins are down and that is affecting my energy? Probably not, but it seemed reasonable to try.

I have had some real insights into what I need to write. I had an idea, a quite good one I think, for how I will organize my dissertation, for how each chapter will be focused. I have done an enormous amount of research and am pretty clear on what remains to be done. So all the elements are in place. The problem is getting the work done. I am not lazy. But I am also not progressing as I had hoped. But I also don’t know if my expectations were too high. I do know that what I want most in the world right now, is to finish my dissertation and successfully defend it. As soon as possible which I think is fall 2012. I can’t imagine how I will feel or what I will do if I am not done by then. Enough is enough after all. I am so ready to move on with my life. To get a good job, hopefully, settle down somewhere, in my own home, and start building a real adult life for myself, something which feels very overdue at this point.

Even during my long walk today I realized that I did not even feel like taking any pictures. I was still looking, observing, thinking, but I did not take my camera out of my bag. Now my hope is that articulating all of this will help me get past it and do some good revising later this afternoon. I will be happy with that. And I am happy to be in my apartment, with the cool crisp fall air and bright afternoon sunlight pouring in, and delicious smells coming from my kitchen. I do not feel hopeless. I know that I will get my work done, take many more pictures, and keep moving forward, a little bit more every day. The road is long and bumpy and exhausting and precarious, but I am still on it.

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