Another late post! Letting it all slip a bit as I get my head as far into writing as possible (not always easy…) I’ve now finished all three analysis chapters (wtf, I know, right?) in 3 months and am bashing away at my redraft literature review, then I’ll do my methodology, then intro / conclusion, then edit the whole thing, submit to supervisors to read, then edit one last time before submitting in November…!! So bloody close now. Can’t wait to see what’s around the bend as well! So here are some musings from last month.
Blimey, it’s all going so quickly!! I’m nearly finished with the final of my 3 analysis chapters, I’m suddenly wearing factor 30 and have apparently forgotten the 6 hours of daylight of winter, and am moving to Manchester in August…
It just hit me. It’s 25 degrees outside, 6pm, Thursday, and I’m in an air conditioned library fighting off frustration and trying to get my head in the writing space. And it just hit me. Well, less hit, more gently crept up behind me and wrapped its arms around me and whispered in my ear “hey, you’re nearly there, it’ll all be done soon and then you can see what the world has to offer you, you’ll probably feel pretty bereft when this is all over but the next thing will happen soon enough and you’ll be moving on and up and who know where the wind blows…”.
That sounds a little creepy but it’s not, it’s deeply comforting. I have no idea what will happen next, but Manchester is an excellent city full of brilliant people doing interesting things and I can get stuck in and have more skills to offer than I did when I was there 3 years ago.
I will miss Glasgow, I’ll miss the women I met through the groups I’ve been going to, I saw some of them today actually, it always warms my heart to see them, they’re all such top humans.
But mostly, I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the world in a way which for me, personally, the PhD has held me back from doing. I maybe could have been more involved in things, and could probably have bitten off a little more which I could probably have chewed, but I’ve been fairly tunnel vision with it all, and am eager to get involved in some good work in Manchester. I’ve realised that I need to be around humans with greater regularity than I have with this PhD…I’ve realised that I need a bit more structure than I’ve made / the PhD offers, for a bit anyway, and that I have skills I didn’t think I had. I also know that I’m a good writer and could use that skill in different ways which don’t entail spending two whole years in a library…
But mostly I know that it matters to me that I feel able to use my skills in a way which cultivate some kind of change. It’s not enough to facilitate people having a lovely time together, this is vital and important, and something I would like to do, as helping to make people’s everyday lives that little lighter is hugely valuable. But it’s not enough. People’s everyday lives are affected by those bigger structural things; austerity, racism, sexism…policies are not the be all and end all by any means, but they have a pretty huge impact upon people’s everyday lives. To understand and work in a way which connects the everyday to the bigger picture, and seeks to make the everyday more bearable whilst making waves in the wider context, is the only way that change will come. I’ve only reached this conclusion through countless conversations with folk from all kinds of disciplines and backgrounds, to understand that we must not isolate the everyday from that which shapes it.
So, I don’t know where my future lies, but I hope it helps to bring some change in some way that I am able to do well.