Self-reflection reenters the scene, and it's threatening to become this all over again. In fact, holy fuck, even if they don't have anything to do with philosophy in particular, the parallels to what prompted similar thoughts some six months ago to what's prompted this post are uncanny. So much so, I've begun to wonder if I squandered lessons learned and unrealized a most important realization:
[P]hilosophy isn’t always going to be there for you.We've been here before. Not again. Even if it's well-established that honest self-reflection has a way of deteriorating quickly into renewed self-deception, it feels too soon.
Panic. It returns. And, it's directed directly at personal/philosophical progress. Shit.
But, the morning yips, I've found, dissipate more quickly. I'm not caught in the grasp of the earlier false picture. Motivation isn't the problem. It's that progress during the past few years of graduate school hasn't been quantifiable in the same way that the pack a day habit it has caused is.
Sure, in the past six months, chapters have been written, talks given, and, most importantly, confidence regained. But, it's a continual struggle to see any of that as getting me closer to where I want to be. Having to constantly remind myself that, yes, there's some chance, however slight, it'll all add up to allowing me to keep doing what I love, is a much less satisfying habit than the one that makes the first and last pull off a cigarette so enjoyable.
I will say, though, it's gotten easier. And, I'll keep doing it because despite feeling like I haven't made progress even in the face of the obvious progress I have made, I also know that I'm good at philosophy. It's different now because, to paraphrase a recent favorite band, I'm armed with the past, a will, and the belief that I can do this.
I just need to do what needs to be done to get a chance to prove it.
-- Jaded Dissertator