Many people struggle in different ways in their lives. Presently I feel a little bit sick in my stomach about the next 5 weeks and the struggle I have to finish my PhD and try to meet the other expectations in my life. I am privileged to the extent that I have the support of my family so this stuggle is mostly configured as a opportunity; I am not struggling to live, but have the luxury to struggle to live in a certain way.
I am also lucky that I had lived my life to this point matching my various struggles with positive decisions. I don’t mean ‘positive’ as in ‘good’, but ‘positive’ in the sense of an affirmation. I have had not had to make many negative decisions about my life; that is, to simply react to what was happening around me in the best way I could. Rather, I have decided to pursue certain opportunities and affirm the new and interesting ways to live presented by these opportunities. An example is when I told someone from Street Machine when he asked what I was going to do after my Honours year at university. I replied that I was going to do my PhD. I didnt have a PhD scholarship or a place at a university, or even really knew how the system worked at all. Yet, I made a decision that affirmed a whole set of new possibilities for living and so on. Sometimes realising these possibilities took a while, and sometimes with sadness I realise these possibilities after opportunities have been exhausted.
For those who struggle, however, and are forced to react against the structural circumstances which seem to conspire against them, they never experience the utter and complete joy of affirmation. They do not have the opportunity to seek out those opportunities through which to discover new possibilities for living. The individual capacity for acting and the way the habitus is formed in part determines the openings on the world. Through these openings on the world people can by simply exposed to it, and reactive in negative ways by closing down openings (like not answering their mobile phone or refusing refugees), but people can also embrace the world and project themselves through new opportunities to affirm new ways of existing.
My masculinist way of dealing with struggle is to enter a state of furious energetics. Part of my ‘fuck you’ to the world is to embrace those parts that are worthy of embracing. Right now I am going beserk finishing off the diss. I am struggling, but there is no way I am going to let myself fail in this challenge. I want to produce new openings on the world and the next iteration of my life will be, in some way, through my PhD. I don’t want a comfortable existence. Up the stakes and roll the dice, then work like crazy…