Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Choosing the path of meaning

What work do you really want to do? Do you still remember, or have you been chasing status and publications for so long that you have lost of yourself?

True confession: I have lost a bit of myself. For a long time, I was so preoccupied with publishing a certain amount per year, that I think I lost sight of what I really wanted to do. Being productive and pushing myself had an important place in my career, but I realize, it came at a bit of a cost.

It is important to find balance between being productive, taking opportunities, but making sure that we are doing work that is meaningful to us. So, don't take this caution as an excuse to not do your daily writing rituals!

Perhaps, for me, what was even more difficult was the fact that I was interested in areas that were (are) fairly fringe. The lack of acceptance of some of my work perhaps pushed me into some more "conventional" areas that I write in now.

So, now what? What do I want to write about, research? Who do I wish to be, mid-career (pushing 50), tenured and having no more promotions in front of me? No desire to be an administrator again, never again wishing to move?

And why do I write this here, in my blog that is meant to inspire and provide hope to young scholars?

A warning perhaps? Or maybe even more importantly, a bit of honestly; we all struggle at this, this life of writing, this life of thought. Its a privilege, an honor, but at times, frustrating, painful, and filled with complexities.

So, on those days when you feel lost, unclear of what you wish to write about, what you wish to explore, I say to you, you are not alone.

And if faced with a choice, the choice between being true to yourself, to your work, verses a slightly easier path?

No easy answer, but know that others have engaged in that struggle, that lucha; you are not alone. 

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