As I was packing up my bag for class this morning, I had this huge revelation.
Here it is:
I’ve been acting, believing, feeling, and living as if I had already failed at this dissertation.
As if I had already failed.
Which is, of course, completely mental. I haven’t finished it or submitted it or even really gotten much feedback, so how could it be a failure? It was so strange, I was just putting my stuff in my bag and it just hit me — that I need to stop believing that the time it has taken me or the revisions that are required of me or the work I have yet to do is a sign of failure. No wonder I’ve been feeling beaten down and discouraged. No wonder I’ve struggled to get myself to work on it. I’ve been seeing the whole thing as a fait accompli. (Which I just looked up for the spelling: “a thing that has been decided so that those affected by it have no option but to accept.” I SO was not giving myself other options than failure.) I wonder if I did it because I thought subconsciously that by assuming I was already a failure, then I was emotionally and mentally protected if it turns out I do indeed fail at it. Regardless, it seems pretty damned dumb to shoot myself in the foot like that before I’ve even had a chance to join the race. Sheesh.
A good thing to realize, I think, though.
p.s. Joyful day for us blue state feminists!!
p.s.s. Speaking of which, I love it when my assumptions are overthrown by my students. One of my meathead football-type dudes came to class last week in a bright pink tee-shirt that said on the front “This is what a feminist looks like.” Brilliant.