Friday, 15 January 2010

Decision Point


So, I am currently at a point in my life where I am questioning what I am doing. I started a PhD in October, after waiting a year to get some money to do it. I got a fee waiver, but no money to live on. Thus, I am living on what I earn from the day job and undergraduate tutoring.

The problem with waiting a year was the passion for the subject I had hardened into cynicism and doubt in my own ability. I feel a lot of people in my area are up their own asses. I fear that I will crawl up my own into irrelevance. I am currently suffering from a lack of motivation and confidence in my ability to write and analyse. I've also been unable to devote as much time to things as I could have over the last few months thanks to lack of money, Pole Divas, family and my own rubbishness.

I'm not sure anymore what I'll get out of it. I have no illusions that jobs in my academic area are cushy or abundant. I do enjoy teaching adults - I enjoy engaging with the undergraduates I tutor. I find that intrinsically rewarding. The hope was I could do that as a lecturer. That now, seems quite unlikely, hearing the horror stories of those that have recently submitted. A year ago I wanted to work to see if I could achieve a PhD in something I felt passionate about and prove to myself I am capable.

I feel now that I may have gone in to academic study from my fear of the job market. I had such a shitty time searching for temporary work starting in September last year, that it's made me weary of the job market, I was applying at the time it was contracting badly - but that does not seem to have become any better recently. I am scared of leaving what is relatively 'safe' and throwing myself out in search of a job. I am terrified of being unemployed and having to search from scratch again.

However, the PhD is making me feel rubbish about myself and my worth as a person. I had a meeting with my supervisors today and they are not helping. Their response to my lack of motivation was to say essentially that I'd not made satisfactory process and should go part-time. That was not helpful. Going part-time would not motivate me to work. It would marginalise me from what I'm supposed to be doing and screw up the few financial benefits I get as a student.

That said we did discuss a few things that interested me and would be good to write on. I am willing to give them a try. My plan is to discipline myself to work. Give it until the end of August/September to see if I can get this back, if I can't and I hate it by then - I will quit.

It frustrates me because I have had such an awesome time with all the pole stuff that I've done at the same time that all this is happening. I'd love to make that the focus of my life. I just don't know if there are any options in this area for me to support myself - no performance or teaching oppertunities - and if there are I don't know how to promote myself or have the capital to establish anything. It's sad, because I know what I love and what has made me happy over a difficult year and half.

(The photo at the top is from the day I had the Jenyne Butterfly masterclass - whilst I was waiting for a train to Liverpool - just thought it was beautiful).

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