What do I want to be when I grow up?
I don’t remember having much of a good answer to this one when I was a kid, I probably said I didn’t know. I think I might have said author sometimes, as I always loved writing stories.
I think if I’d known what a runologist was, I’d have wanted to be one 🙂
Not that I am exactly much of a runologist at the moment, given that I am off sick this year and need to seriously consider whether I really want to do a PhD or not. So I find myself pondering this question once again.
When you’re a child, there are so many things you could be. Some of them might not be possible really, like being a horse (unless you specialise in panto…) or a medieval knight (except for a hobby and a few professional re-enactors) or a tree 😀
When you’re an adult, the choices you have made affect the options you have.
Arthritis is my main limiting factor, both in terms of physical abilities and energy levels. It pretty much affects anything. Although I could still be an author… And I could still do the PhD, but at what cost? I just can’t work at the rate required even for part-time. They can offer me extra time, which is good, but the stress is getting to me and deadlines are all part of it.
I just don’t know if I still want it like I used to. And you have to really really want it to find the motivation to get one finished.
Part of me is sick of the whole thing; that’s the stressed part that can’t even cope with sending out birthday cards on time.
But part of me knows that if I give it up, in a year or two when I have recovered I might seriously regret it. I have had a cycle with academia. Love it, get sick, recover a bit, want to study again, study again, love it, get sick, take time off, and repeat. Only so far I have managed to complete my courses (apart from the first one when I got sick first, because then I didn’t expect to recover enough) before having to recover.
So I did my undergrad in Medieval Studies full time, 3 years, and needed 2 years to recover. Had to take an extra year out before getting back for other reasons. Then MA, 3 years (the dissertation had to be handed in in September, so I was given the choice of writing it in 3 months or 15 months. Guess which I picked?) Then a year off but I was busy getting married and other challenging tasks! Then started the PhD and maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that after 3 years of it I need a break?
I’m not going to make my decision just yet, that would be foolish. I need to wait for the counselling and see how I am after that, in 2 or 3 months.
But I could do some thinking about what I would do if I didn’t finish my PhD.
I could still be an author. I’m not writing at the moment, except this blog, because of the stress and anxiety thing. I can’t face such a large project as a novel. I have done a couple of poems and a very short story. But we shall see, it might be an option.
I could be a crochet designer 🙂 I love crochet and I am inventive and like to make up my own stuff. I still have a lot to learn, but it might be possible. Although the maths could be an issue…
I could do video editing. I like doing that, though I haven’t done any for a while. No reason not to start doing a bit more now I have the rest of the year off. But not as a proper job though,. Can’t do anything as a proper job. No energy, I can’t even manage part time hours, and it fluctuates week to week so I’d be hideously unreliable.
No, I’m looking at things to occupy me which might provide a bit of pin money or at least provide interaction with the world, doing something which someone somewhere might appreciate. After all, more people read this blog than would ever be likely to read my thesis!
Although a popular version of my thesis would be very desirable, it is a cool subject. Who wouldn’t want a book about medieval graffiti? Words written by ordinary people from the past, the kind of people who don’t usually get to leave us their words. And with lovely photos of beautiful stavechurches in scenic Norway.
Yeah, I do still love my subject… I do want to finish it. I just need to get back on an even keel.
And also decide between a PhD and an MPhil…
But for now, it’s back to the crochet 🙂
Oh, that was a long one! 800 words! Thanks for sticking with it, if you did, and if you just scrolled down to see how long this wretched post is and if it’s worth reading, hi 🙂