Trying to fall in love again…

by Anna Blanch on February 17, 2011

This post will be a first. It’s about the most intense relationship in my life right now.

I need to fall in love with my PhD thesis again. And it’s not just because my thesis is about the closest thing i have to a Valentine right…but that’s a story for a different post (a potentially funny one). But this is serious. I need to feel that same flicker of excitement as I felt most of the first year of this project. Right now though, I feel more like that just gotta get through it feeling you have when you’re cleaning out a share-house (think college dorm) fridge: you just screw your nose up, hold your breath, and get on with it. But that’s oh-so-unsatisfying. actually, it’s kind of horrible.

It’s not that the project has moved in directions I don’t like. It’s that I’m feeling overwhelmed by it all. It still has moments of sweetness; of the depth of thought and rigor that makes me smile (yep, i’m weird like that).

What I do know is that I don’t want to feel like this for the next eighteen months to two years. I’ve been doing this – this is my fourth thesis type project – for a while now. I’m used to the natural rollercoaster of frustration. This is different. This is hard. 

So today, i’m trying to think of ways to rekindle the spark. 

I could use all the help I can get! Have you got any suggestions for me?

  • Jarrod Longbons

    someone once told me "you have to celebrate everything! a submission, a draft, a book, a new section…everything. it helps you keep going, especially if you pour a glass of bourbon to celebrate." i am not going to say who it is…but he is a theologian. i think it terrific advice, and it has been helping me, maybe it could help you.

    My recent post Should we all be farmers

  • Coree

    Maybe explain your topic to someone outside your field? Make an interesting presentation or youtube video? Sometimes looking at it in a new light will help you get excited about it again!
    My recent post RIP Jack Lalane

  • carl sweatman

    In many ways, I can sympathise (and even empathise) with you on this. For the past few months now, I've been waiting on my thesis to give me the, 'We're not as close as we used to be' speech. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

    As far as suggestions go, I would have to agree with Jarrod and Coree (partly because they're the only two comments I can see at the moment). I recently had a good chat with a philosophy professor about my topic, and his challenging questions ignited within me an attitude of protection–i.e. I'm going to stand between him and my thesis. It was then I knew that the love was still there for my project, and since then things have been better.

  • Goannatree

    thanks for the suggestion, Jarrod. The problem is that i'm struggling with feeling like i have much to celebrate (which may be false)….you've certainly hit on the celebrate every step of the way though! I'm glad it's working for you!

  • Goannatree

    i don't know that anyone would care to see a Youtube presentation of my topic! But, i really appreciate you taking the time to make a suggestion! Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Goannatree

    "We're not as close as we used to be" – i love that line 😉 it suits my mood!

    An attitude of protection – i like that. It's certainly an encouragement to keep sharing even when you're feeling disillusioned!

    Thanks for taking the time to share!

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