Well hello, strangers. Long time, no write. I could easily, and to some extent fairly, blame the end-of-an-era that I’ve been stumbling through: the loose ends to tie up, the excitement of finally being finished with my program, the distraction of guests and ceremonies. But that would leave you with the impression that my silence is a contented one.
For although much of me is thrilled to be done, the greater part is wandering around a bit lost: what now? I’ve been told by colleagues who have gone before me that a post-PhD letdown is par for the course: you’ve spent years working towards this mighty, life-defining goal, and once you achieve it, there’s a sense of disconnect. Why isn’t everything different? Why aren’t I suddenly flush with success and rolling in money? Or at least fully employed? Anyone? Is this thing on?
Nothing is different, really, except that I’m blazing through novels at an alarming rate. But I’m less satisfied with the sameness, and it’s affecting most areas of my life for the worse, not the least of which is blogging. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sat down to write, only to slump and fade away when I realized “I’ve said this before. And one hundred other people have said it, too, in the last 24 hours.” I miss writing, but more than that, I miss feeling like I have something to contribute. It’s all redundancy and flabby outrage. Whinging.
So, my mental and emotional batteries are low, and even though I’d like to get back in the shark tank that is the blogosphere, I feel like it’s so crowded I’m just going to be poking other, swifter people in the eye with my bony elbows and mixed metaphors. Several of you have sent me and/or my sister-harpies sweet messages of appreciation in the last month, which have kept me from crawling entirely into my cave of emotional crapulence. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
But the disconnect I’m feeling is pretty profound, and I thought my silence had already gone on too long. I’ll take whatever advice you might have for getting back in the saddle, I’ll happily accept suggestions of what I might write about (especially if it isn’t OMG WOULD YOU LOOK AT THIS SHIT?), and I won’t even turn down stern “see here, young lady” speeches, since my absence has been prolonged and only poorly excused.