Friday, 25 May 2012


I’m all talk and no action. 

At least here. 

Sometimes you just have to live your life in order to observe it properly. 

The silence here is due to many factors.  But I don’t think this space is going away.  I’m just working on finding a way for it to fit my life a bit better.  The beauty of the space is that it can change with my life. 

When I started this little venture I was very lost and suffering from PhD-PTSD. 

It’s totally a thing. 

While speaking to a fellow PhD survivor yesterday we hit on the core of PhD-PTSD.  

You cannot stop analysing.* 

For at least four years of your life 20% of the 25% of the brain we actively use was taken up with constantly analysing.  No matter what you were doing, that bit of the brain was constantly ticking over and ‘making connections’ and pushing you to write, write, write, write.  When you finally finish, that bit of the brain is at a loss.  Especially if you don’t continue with the academic life.  That bit of the brain is habituated to analyse so it turns to whatever it can find.  It’s like a virus (or something else that just latches on to whatever is nearby, a seed pod, whatever) and you start analysing your breakfast choices, your friends, your partner, your marriage, the look a total stranger gave you on the tube.  It’s all up for investigation with any social theory you can remember and suddenly you can’t enjoy ‘time-off’ anymore because that bit of your brain is telling you that there is something significant to be said about your choice of breakfast.  It’s all culturally relevant and indicative of a greater social pattern and the fact that you think you made the choice because it was all you could find in the cupboard and were running late, means you aren't taking a broad enough view of your life and choices…………

Do you see? It’s exhausting.  Who cares? It gets to the point that you can’t register a feeling without analysing why it is that you might be feeling this way. 
I should point out that this may only be the case with Social Science PhDs as we are trained to see any aspect of life as up for investigation, so why not my breakfast choice.

Getting back to the silence…

I didn’t want to analyse my life anymore.  I feel pretty confident in saying that continued analysis will not make life enjoyable.  The unexamined life is definitely worth living.  At least for awhile. 

I can’t turn this training off but I don’t have to feed it. 

I do, however, have to keep writing.  I have been writing and telling stories since I was 5.  Probably before.  I have a compulsion to embellish the truth for the purpose of a better story.  Some call it compulsive lying, I prefer storytelling.  Any event that happens in my life, big or small, I process through snippets of description.  Lines of text run through my head as I feel joy or horror or contentment.  I can’t stop it.  So this space will continue, but not like before. 

I don’t think. 

I’m not sure. 

I’ll get back to you.

*there is also a guilt component that rivals any cultural mother/religion stereotype

1 comment:

  1. LOOK, you two are SO CUTE!!!!


    I don't have a social science PhD, but I have noticed a continual analysis loop in my brain (maybe I'm a social science enthusiast?). The noise can be difficult to quell, and as you pointed out, exhausting. And I probably don't even have it nearly as deep as you.

    Looking forward to seeing what you make of it all.