I am supposed to be working on editing, but editing takes up so much brain power and time. Okay, the truth is that I am procrastinating...going on 4.5 years now, and would rather be putting my time and energy into this post at this very moment. My writing began 4.5 years ago as a disjointed exercise in intellectual Olympics (or rather, I was mimicking intellectual thought), and omitted any inkling of personal connection or overt emotion. My words were simply metaphors and analogies, with no grounding in reality. Stream-of-consciousness writing is acceptable for poetry and works of fiction, but not for a graduate-level thesis. I was covertly hiding behind my writing, scared of what the process would bring out in me. Specifically, I was fearful of vulnerability, the painful process of connecting to my writing within the academic realm. Now I know this, nearly half a decade later.
This lesson was not fully realized until this past week, during a conversation with my husband. I learned that it has taken me 4.5 years to personally identify with my writing, which began during a time of personal, intellectual, and emotional upheaval: a time saturated by a paradigm shift; a transitional phase. During those years, I have questioned my ability to write and think critically. That lingering, self-imposed incompetency had taken a toll on my self-esteem and productivity--"foggy-mindedness" and "like pulling teeth" are phrases that most closely describe how writing felt like during that intellectually uncreative time period, which I earnestly hope is nearing its end. Writing from the heart and feeling the weight of my words, rather than writing from the head, is what I need to do in order to relieve the mental fogginess and finish my written work.
Perhaps the most important lesson learned is that I now accept that life happens; life cannot be ignored or set aside in the name of obtaining a higher degree. I've followed my gut instincts all the while, especially in the last 12 months or so--and do not regret any aspect of it, although to the outside world I may appear to be slacking off. Following my instincts led me to, among other things, opening my Etsy shop, starting this blog, and meeting some wonderfully supportive people along the way. This past year has been an amazing, albeit unstructured, journey.
P.S. Happy 8 months to my love and I; a short time period when considering the 4 years and counting.