I’m trying like hell to finish my master’s thesis. Distractions abound. And not just the Season 3 trailer for Orphan Black, or catching up on the Oscar-nominated films that I missed before the ceremony (J. K. Simmons completely deserved the Academy Award for his performance in Whiplash).
There are valid reasons for my not finishing graduate school this semester. Pressing concerns and dear people deserve my attention. In some ways, I feel like my brain has already migrated to a post-school island in the time-space continuum. Yesterday at 10:00 a.m. I was ready to say, “Screw it. I’ll finish in August.” And I may flip that switch tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. Who knows?
But for now, I’m on the fifth floor of the Georgia State Library, summoning my brain back from the abyss. My iPhone’s turned off. I’m getting ready to block all my favorite websites. I’ve removed the email and browser applications from the dock of my MacBook so I won’t be tempted to refresh my inbox every 30 seconds. It’s time to dance with the Thesis Monster. The cute sticker is courtesy of a fellow English grad student who is keeping me sane; she even ordered us “Thesis Slayer” pencils. Our efforts are completely branded.
I’ve been researching and writing about identity–and southern identity in particular–for almost three years now. The following quote from feminist scholar Susan Stanford Friedman is the core message in my thesis, and one that I’m using to reframe my consulting business:
“People know who they are through the stories they tell about themselves and others.” The story I choose to tell about myself right now is that I’m going to finish my thesis so that I can graduate in May and focus more on helping others share their stories. What about you–what’s your story right now?