I’m currently doing the ‘How to Survive your PhD’ MOOC run by the Thesis Whisperer. It’s been OK, probably not what I expected from a learning perspective but it’s interesting to connect with others (all 12,000 or so doing it.) I wish I had started it once in Melbourne as there have been physical meetings where I could have connected with other sufferers (I choose that word consciously today.)
I’m in the final stages of finishing a conference paper, due today, which I’d hoped to have considered for the attached special journal issue. But I have to be realistic and expect not.
Today has not started well. And I note that this is not just a PhD post. I was contemplating a social media rant, but I generally oppose self conscious statements on facebook or twitter about how wretched your current state of mind is, as it’s a little too attention seeking for my taste. I could call my husband, who is in Melbourne this week trying to find us somewhere to live, but he’s under as much stress as I am right now with adjusting to a new workplace and all the real estate challenges – which tends to bring out the worst in both of us.
So instead I’m posting here. My own confidence about actually completing this PhD has plummeted recently. I just keep getting rejected at every turn. This morning it was the Australian Journal of Career Development, who rejected my article. I completely understand why they did, the response was quick and justified (unlike my previous journal experiences), and they did say they thought the project was a valid one. But still.
The outcome of all this stress, I realised yesterday, is I’m angry at everything. I’m angry at my husband for not being willing to see ‘non-perfect’ properties when we’re about to be homeless, for academia for rejecting me, for myself for not being good enough or for choosing to do something that will likely offer me no tangible benefit in the long term, at the fact that I don’t think I’ll ever find employment again, at friends for letting me down (and my unwillingness to express how mad I was to be cancelled on last minute) and even my bloody dog who decided to abandon his favourite ball in Sydney harbour yesterday.
And when I realised I had all this anger, and tried to let it go through yoga, I just switched anger to a great mix of sorrow and hysteria which has lead to me crying in public (and at home.) A lot.
So right now I’m not surviving my PhD at all. And no amount of MOOCs are going to help.