I feel like my titles for posts suck lately. This is partly because I'm not really doing posts with clearly defined topics lately - all of my "clearly defined topic" mojo is being directed at NB.
The thing I've been thinking about over the past couple of days is how doing a major project like this intersects with the other parts of one's life. Heck - even non-major projects, like journal articles, do for me tend to intersect with (or complicate?) the other parts of my life. For me, there isn't a whole lot of separation between the things I'm thinking about in research and the ups and downs of my personal/emotional life, to be more specific. And when I think over sort of "crucial moments" in my intellectual life, they do tend to parallel big shifts in my emotional life....
I don't know whether that's good, bad, or neutral. I would tend to think it's bad a lot of the time - that doing major thinking fucks with my head and then it fucks with my relationships with people by extension. But or, really, it could be good-ish, in that maybe if major thinking can fuck something in my life up, that something probably shouldn't be central in my life? Probably it's all neutral, a wash.
But I do often find myself wishing pretty frequently that I were a different sort of person and that I didn't take the thinking/research stuff so personally. Wishing that I just viewed it as one more part of the job and not as this life-changing thing that touches every other part of my life, whether I want it to or not. I'm trying really hard in this go-around to be honest about this with people in my life, and to try to be honest with myself when I start acting like an asshole about what the reasons for that really are. I'm trying really hard not to use the people in my life to work out my intellectual angst. It's not easy, though. My impulse is to deflect any intellectual angst onto the people in my life, and seriously, there are very few people in my life who have been able to forgive me for that or who have been able to stand up to the pressure of it (and rightly so, quite frankly).
But anyway, so it's a weird time for me. I'm trying to actually use what I've learned over the past ten years - not only in terms of framing the project but in terms of framing my life that surrounds the project - and you know what? That's not actually fun. Of course, it's not fun being a crazy mess for years, either, so if I can avoid the whole "crazy mess" thing by doing what I'm doing, then that's got to be a good thing. Still, though, it's a pain in the ass.
Ok, now it's time to try to plow through a bunch of library books so that I can return them when I go to pick up the mountain of ILL books I've got waiting for me at the circulation desk.
1 year ago