It has been a while since I wrote a blog that wasn’t about work.
There are a few reasons for this, but mainly, it is because I have been really busy with Masters, and then with Workshops.
All this is suddenly coming to an end. Tomorrow I run the last workshop for this series (which has been absolutely great!), and next week I present my Masters Research at an International Conference. I am looking forward to finally being able to fill my time in between clients with good books and novels, rather than having to do reading or writing related to my workshops or my Masters.
I have not read a book for myself in over 19 months. Both my heart and mind miss the beauty of books. Being taken on a journey, while in the comfort of my own space. Not having to worry about how I am going to articulate this concept in a similar way in my own writing, and if it will be understandable. Just being able to enjoy the essence of what I am reading, go on the emotional ride the author has created, and just read for the sake of reading.
I feel like my own writing has suffered as a result of not doing what I call pleasure reading. Reading with the intent of reproducing or creating content is a very different process, and although I have read tons in the last while, I haven’t been able to truly let the word-creations of other people simply wash over me.
Reading for the sake of writing is a big part of academia for me.
I have come to the conclusion that what I love about academia is the learning, the long, complicated conversations about the world through particular theoretical lenses. After not being in that space for four years, my joy at these aspects of class and conference was tangible for me in the first few weeks. I felt exhilarated, and inspired. And like I was getting to use my brain again!
However, I developed was is often referred to as imposter syndrome. The idea that despite all my degrees, reading and experience, that I somehow do not deserve to be in that space. For me, this occurs when my academic thoughts are being evaluated, and assigned a mark. And if that mark is not a distinction or higher (at Masters level, this should not have an impact on my self-worth, but it does, and I can acknowledge the absurdity of it) I feel like I am not intelligent enough to participate and contribute to these conversations.
And when I did not get a distinction for one of my courses last year (I got two distinctions and one C, but that one C feels like the defining mark for some reason), writing became an extremely difficult task.
I struggled to complete my thesis, it took a month longer than I had planned for. I struggled to write blog posts and even personal journaling has been difficult. I am busy rebuilding my confidence at being able to put thoughts into written words.
So now that the main stresses of the last 19 months are about to be over. I can start to find my written voice again. And this is my first public piece of writing towards that goal.