After such an inadvertently long blogging hiatus, I’m back. The last two months of my life have been haphazard, with some deadlines, some travel and some disillusionment. That is where the true test of blogging consistency comes…
I’m now exactly halfway through my doctoral studies. Another existential crisis has set in. Actually, it seems like these crises come every month (if not weekly) during this experience. But the halfway mark is significant, like a birthday or anniversary or something. There is constant ‘taking stock’ going on, many counterfactuals on project and topic choices, and some clamping down on bad habits and time wasters. It feels like now that I have a somewhat less hazy idea of what my project is about, I should be hitting the ground running, guns blazing, writing and talking, and having strong opinions on everything remotely related to my subject.
My visit back home (Nairobi and Western Kenya) was a good break. It got me more grounded psychologically, knowing that there’s a lot left to do in Kenya, and there’re a lot for me to do when I go back, and knowing there’s great importance in studying my chosen topic in greater depth. Sometimes one needs that kind of validation. I also realised how privileged I am to be able to pursue a PhD at this point in my life, with the perks of fulltime, funded study away from the obligations that my peers have to contend with. But also the knowledge of how much ‘catching-up’ I will need to do with social life obligations when I get back was not lost on me. Most importantly, remembering that there’s life outside the ‘ivory tower’ that is PhD-student life was highly motivating.
So here’s me strapping in for the second treacherous leg of this journey, praying for and calling in all the creativity, brainpower, productivity and single-mindedness needed to get this done!