Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On catching up

“What? What is this? A blog post? But… I thought she was dead? No?”

I realize that it might seem like an eternity since I posted here (or, perhaps, you were all relieved. Who knows?). I took off with a merry “see you in 2010”, without specifying when (that rhymed. Entirely unintentional, I assure you). I had myself a nice and well-deserved Christmas break. I celebrated the parting of the old year and the coming of the new one. I considered writing a post called “On resolutions”, but then I figured that the entire blogging community had already done so. Plus, I didn’t really have any resolutions. Unless you count “finishing my thesis”, but that isn’t so much a resolution as it is a necessity.

A few days into the new year, I decided that it was time to start blogging again. Only by then I felt like I had to do a major “catch-up” post. Tell you everything that had happened since last time. It’s a frequent error I make – trying to catch up. My postponing doing so has been the bane of many a penpalship. It’s ridiculous, really, because most penpals would be much happier to receive a simple, non-catchuppy postcard than the incredibly long letter that is never written…

The catch up post is discouraging to the extent that I keep putting it off until there is no way around it. Only all of a sudden, a way materialized. I realized that I could, for once, write that metaphorical postcard. I made up my mind to write a blog post just like any other. Ignore the fact that I hadn’t posted in weeks, pretend that it had been intentional to take a leave of absence.

This was about two weeks ago.

So why didn’t I write that post?

The truth is, I don’t know. Seeing as this isn’t a catch up post, I won’t lean on my primary excuse for this long break – lack of time. There, I said it anyway. Lack of time has been a factor, definitely. Since I got back to Oslo after New Years, I have spent more hours at the university than in my own bed (and no, the explanation to this isn’t that I have spent so very many hours in someone else’s bed either…). I have eaten very few meals in my apartment. I have, to say it as it is, been living in a bubble where my thesis and factors affecting that is the only thing that matters. I vaguely remember I had friends outside the university, but I don’t actually see them anymore. I think I once could have an argument without demanding a footnote at the end of each paragraph, but that is now lost to me.

And the worst part is that I like it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s stressful and terrible and I hate my thesis and everything about it. But then there are the rare moments when it all makes sense. When you reach some sort of higher understanding, and suddenly you feel like a million dollars. And if things aren’t going so well, you can always go to the break room, and find a kindred spirit there. It’s an extraordinary cohabitation. Here we come together, all of us in the same “nothing else than my five minutes of history matters” state of mind. We don’t care about each other’s five minutes, but because we share the same experience, we have chosen the Modus Vivendi of pretending.

So when life interjects, it’s annoying to say the least. The bubble was working for me, but it popped. Suddenly and unexpectedly. I want to get back in, but I seem unable to. So instead I have chosen a new forum for complaining. This one.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. I was planning to post about cover songs. I might do that sometime later. But I couldn’t resist doing a catch up post first. I may or may not keep up the blogging routine from here on. I do miss it. But I don’t think I can live with myself knowing I missed the deadline this spring because I wrote blogs instead of thesis chapters. So if you insist on visiting this blog on a regular basis, don’t expect that I keep you company all that often. I might be blowing bubbles.


Watery Tart said...

Well I for one, am glad to see you back--yes, i get that you need to keep plugging away at the thesis (did you get draft 2 done?) but it seems between drafts you certainly have earned a little time to digress a little with your friends!

J. M. Hunter said...

You're back! This makes the side of me that likes to procrastinate by reading your blog VERY happy and the side of me that knows I need to get my butt in gear VERY worried!

I love that you did a non-catch-up catch up post. I think you and I are alike in thinking that we have to make a grand gesture or none at all - it must be the academic in us. I for one am just starting to wrap my head around the fact that a blog post doesn't have to be a 5 page deposition. It can be just one paragraph! a sentence! a word! a picture! The freedom is overwhelming.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Welcome back, Mari. We missed you, and till you tell us to stop, we will keep following you!

M.J. Nicholls said...

Very elegant description of your thesis bubble. I can identify, yet I only wrote a dissertation. I know: what a pussy.

Welcome back, and goodbye again.

Cruella Collett said...

Tami - indeed - draft two of chapter three. Too bad it also needs a draft three, not to metion what needs to be done (WRITE) with chapters 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7... The math doesn't add up, that much is clear. (But I have quite recently started to believe in miracles. It might work)

J.M. - a word? a picture? really? The possibilities!!! I must check this non-deposition blog thing out! (And I don't feel all that guilty in providing procrastination material for you - after all, it goes both ways...)

Natasha - I would never tell you to stop! My ego wouldn't allow it...

Mark - (hah - I just typed "Mari" there. Must be my fingers pulling a Freud on me)
I'm not sure it qualifies to pussiness "only" having written a dissertation. Had you done so with coloured pencils and glitter I might agree...

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