I had a month (roughly the duration of Feb) where everything gelled and I was in what I call ‘machine mode’ looking good to finish PhD. Then I had my bike stack, some work came up that was too good to refuse, and I just got busy, busy, busy doing things other than my dissertation.
Now I am back in the swing of things. I’ve bought a new bike. This time I spent a little more and the difference is amazing. (The gears change without protesting!) I am also going to the gym again on a daily basis. Getting injured and then sick and then busy really disrupted the good pattern I had going on. What is weird is that even though I can see I have put on weight after 6 weeks of sporadic gym (and injury, illness, and busy-ness) and I have become unfit, I actually weigh less than I did just before my bike stack. Now I am 115kgs and before I was 119kgs. Crazy. That means I have lost more than 4 kgs of muscle in 6 weeks of relative non-gym. (I still went to the gym in these 6 weeks but onlu once or twice a week.) I had to sort out my body first so I can become the champion neoliberal just-do-it subject required to finish my PhD in ‘time’ (which is ‘in time’ for a post-doc).
I realise I must be an expert of something now, not because of what I know I know, but because of what I know I don’t. Yes, I have an intimate relation with my ignorance and stupidity. I would’ve liked to have been in this place at the start of my PhD. Sure three and a half years of work will mean I know something, but it is only over the last two or three months I have started to realise to what degree I have become close to my unknowing. Unknowing isn’t an absence of knowledge, it has a full positivity, sometimes it is a lack congruence between information that might be affected by a change of perspective as much as anything else. Part of my problem is that I am forgetting that I have already figured shit out. This is annoying and can squarely be located in my problematic reticence to write-out my thinking compared to my preference for thinking-out my writing. I think I am beginning to realise that, as a Humanities person (scholar? not quite yet), part of the labour of thinking and research is writing.
I have had many things which I have started half blog posts on. I’ll finish them off and post them up today.