As a graduate student, it was partly the title of Dr. in Philosophy that encouraged me to pursue my studies at the doctorate level. It is only later, many years later, that I realized that I was in the program for the wrong reasons. Not a single soul within the whole department tookany steps to guide me. Now, after two masters, three kids and fifteen years of teaching I am choosing to recounting that experience in writing. Has it been felt a failure before? Possible. No matter what I thought about it then, it is the now that matters as Helene Cixous among numerous feminists have pointed out : it is the now that matters. The past shapes us, the future will become. The now is what we are.
At first, the blame went to the supervisor of the program. Mind you, I still believe that she did not lead me efficiently. Then, I believed that the whole department was turning against me. Poor secretary who was always so caring. As matter of fact, I continued to maintain communication with her as I quickly accepted that it is not worth loosing friendship over what I later accepted to be little stuff. Unlike the role of the prof. that Robin Williams play in Good Will Hunting, my supervisor was far from being inspiring and motivating.
For a some time, she made be think that I got in the program by luck. I was sure that luck is not sufficient to get you in. Thanks to university's standards, good marks do not fall from sky. So, imagine that from a number of years, your motivation for why you get up and do what to do is scattered by an outsider. If you let your emotions guide you, the way I did, you will end up finding yourself out of track. No motivation, no goal, just your emotions. I found myself in a pool of if...and what if... to summarize uncertain of what to do next, no light at the end of the tunnel.
Call it a quality if you would like or even luck, I will call it a blessing. It is it is in my nature to be active. Imagine that, I was active, keeping my head and my mind busy with another Master's program, two part-time teaching jobs and some house chores as a newly wed, but no real motivation behind it all. In reality, I was mainly hiding behind all these tasks. Not admitting that all was blurry for me. No vision for the future, just a matter to look after daily tasks. It felt awful, worse than if I would have found myself naked right in the middle of the UK's newly wed royal couple. I was doing work, but work lackng quality. I was active, yet, quite hollow inside. Such devastating feelings continued until the time motivation gradually came back to me, helping me to feel better, making me realize that the events of the past had no reason to make me feel low. Isn't that the falls that help us to become a better walker or a better biker as we grow up? The student in me then was not able to see that. The teacher in me now helps me to realize what went on then. Sad that all that community of doctorate holders were unable to make me realize. So surely enough, time heals many things. What we do now can and will have consequences of what will happen after. Remaining active was a good thing, but refinding motivation, readjusting it to the reality of now, became definitely more recomforting, especially after that long moment of falling short of motivation.
I look forward to come back in my next blog and continue to think about motivation. Maybe this time, I will provide other examples drawn from the life of my loved ones.
Until next time,