I’m feeling a great deal happier about the DPhil than I have for weeks. I think there are two things contributing to that, one less expected than the other.
Driving into Sussex yesterday, it struck me that one of the positives out of the annual review meeting was something more than feeling affirmed; it was actually that I had a sense that I had as much right as anybody else to be a DPhil student. In fact more than that, a recognition that I have always felt a bit of a fraud academically – sort of gate crashing a gathering full of clever people. Although I haven’t suddenly started thinking of myself as clever, I do realise I am probably (note the slight caution there) as capable as anybody else who is on that path of working towards and completing a DPhil. No doubt there will be times ahead when I feel an even bigger academic imposter, but for the moment I’m staying with the positives!
The second thing is a sense that I have now got some ideas about what my DPhil will be about. Although I know not many people read this blog, I don’t feel quite ready to formulate those ideas apart from for myself at the moment but I do have a much more distinct sense of where I am going and I am feeling quite excited and interested in the ideas I am playing with. I think it is also very clear to me that it is highly unlikely I would have arrived where I am at this moment if I hadn’t been on the circuitous journeys of the past months.