While I’m on the topic of writing and understanding my calling, let me now address a greater dilemma that’s been going on in my head for a few weeks now. This freakin’ dissertation!
When I started my quest for a PhD, I wanted to ensure my employability in Japan for a tenure position and not face a constant battle of renewing contracts every three years. Plus, in academia it’s cool to be a doctor.
However, my love of study has never truly been there – at least not in the formal sense. Also, my PhD journey has been less than smooth, though this is common for many who embark on such an adventure. Still, I’ve plowed through and tried to stay focused. I go through waves of a lot of progress to a lot of talking about progress to a lot of avoiding progress. Now, I’m at the point where I really don’t care about progress at all, despite the fact that deep down inside I’d still like to be a doctor.
In my current work, I am extremely happy and satisfied with my level of education as it relates to the experience I am getting. By the end of this academic year, I will have done so much that I feel as if my PhD truly pales in comparison. Who knew that was possible? Still, everyone freaks out on me when I even hint at the idea of stopping the PhD progress altogether. Some say that I’ll miss opportunities. Others say that I’ve already put in so much time, effort and money that I should just get it finished. Even some just say to get over it and finish it. Most realize that it’s their projection of what they want and hint at a disappointment they would have if they were in the same place and not wanting to finish. However, that’s them and not me. When have I ever done anything that everyone else told me to do? Stubborn – me? NO!
Still…Dr Tara Waller sounds pretty freaking awesome, I gotta say! So…how can I connect my current Calling dilemma with my PhD progress woes?
An idea is formulating in my mind…Can I convince my brain that by finishing my PhD, I am fulfilling an aspect of my desire to write? A writer can write from a variety of perspectives. A writer can take on a different persona through the different characters. A writer can create an imagined world to describe to readers. A writer can be academic and creative at the same time. It just might be possible to process in my head that by finishing this degree and writing my literature review, finding more data for my analysis and then creating a proposed leadership development framework that I am fulfilling a part of my calling to write – write for an academic audience in a way that is unique and ‘gifted’ to me.
One aspect of my current job is helping faculty put together their research proposals or break down ideas they have for research or writing. I have an ability to synthesize and spit back out something manageable and clear for them. I also provide the support and encouragement that is often needed. My dissertation can also do this on a formal level and perhaps, just possibly, this is what I can focus on to motivate myself to the finish line!
I will process this, but as I do, I will begin to refocus my energies and dissertate!