March 8, 2013

Sorry for not writing, I've been writing

I miss this blog.


I miss the black and white, the fonts and titles, commenting, and hitting the “publish” button. Hanging out here feels like coming home from work, tossing the keys into the key bowl, and just sprawling on your cozy couch and taking a nap. It’s comfortable. A no-pants zone. It’s home.


The reason I have been MIA is that I started writing my dissertation. After six years of research and reading, I wrote the first ten pages. Five thousand words. I am no longer producing proposals, sales pitches, promises of what I will do somewhere down the line. I am writing. My ships and sailors and whales and harbors are coming together.
Deep breath.


It might not sound like a big deal, but it is a very big deal to me. Everyone has their own m.o. when it comes to these things. There are people who write all the time, edit all the time, tweak and toss into the trash can all the time, and keep moving. Unfortunately, I cannot do that. I hate rewriting, I don’t really do drafts, and I only start writing when my thesis is absolutely clear in my head. Also, I admire my supervisor so much that I would never present her with anything short of a human sacrifice when it comes to mentoring my work.


I would be lying if I said that this little breakthrough occurred without the assistance of the universe. I pursued a few different paths in these last few months, which could have taken me in different directions. Some doors were closed (nah, this ain’t for you kiddo), and some opened with fanfare and fireworks, a stick of dynamite that blew the end of the tunnel out and kicked me in the ass. Go. Run.


Five months ago I was shifting books from one pile onto another, transcribing notes, printing and downloading, and feeling quite lost. I had scattered ideas and a collapsing structure, but no thesis. It was impossible not to notice that the six years of pure research and no productivity had coincided with the crisis in my personal life. Living with my parents again, freelancing instead of waking up every morning and going to an actual job like a decent person, my synapses were throbbing in a big neon sign, I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE. I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE. I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE.


In ten days’ time, I will be presenting my newly minted ten pages to twenty other cultural transplants, heretics of nationalism and goofballs of transdisciplinarity, at one of the oldest universities in Germany. I won’t lie. I cried when I found out. It won’t be my first conference, and it won’t be the biggest thing I’ve ever done. But the timing of it… Holy crap, if that isn’t one big wink from the universe, telling me I am right back where I belong, right where I am supposed to be, I don’t know what is. And I will also go shamelessly ethnic on people’s asses by saying that I loved my lover for being an American when I shared this with him. I come from a hard-working family and have always had every possible kind of support in everything I did, but I swear to God, that loudmouthed, fearless, unadulterated FUCK YEAH of hard-earned, well-deserved success… No one knows how to celebrate the way Americans do. You guys rock.


So, in ten days’ time, I will be a travel bug again. I have been missing planes and airports and languages and exchanges, and I am so overdue for another international utopia moment. I also miss this blog, and I promise to write more soon.


  1. Hi Chris,

    Ah yes indeed, my human friend, it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

    I think it's good you promise to write more soon. In my human's case, I beg him to write less often.

    And thus, it seems you are on the plane again. Which means several parades in your honour (honor) apologies to my spell check which insists I spell in proper English as in English English! :)

    I know there be passion in your writing and your life seems to be on the up and even more on the up in the plane. Shall you be flying on "Blog Air"? And good gosh y'all. Americans can sure kick ass. Of course, my human being from Canada, wherever that is, is much quieter than an American. Yee Hah and stuff. Have a nice day, Chris.

    Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses,

    Penny xx

    1. Dear Penny,

      Your intuition must be fantastic because you couldn't have picked a better time to visit. This post was me trying to focus on the good and positive, since some bad things have been happening to some good people around me. Also, your fellow non-human aka my family cat seems to be nearing the end of her 16-year-long tether. It was a gorgeous, happy and healthy feline life, and she has the best veterinary care in the world, but it is so heartbreaking to have to let go of someone who has been around for half of my 33 years.

      So thank you for the pawsitive wishes. I have much work to do before I am plane-bound, but I know I will be grateful once I am above those clouds again. I am an Aquarius after all and the air is my element. And you know I'm a big fan of Blog Air, I'll make sure to upgrade my ticket asap ;)

      All best back at you,

  2. FUCK YEAH!! You're kicking ass and taking names, my darlin'. I am so glad to hear that someone else writes like me, only when it is perfect and clear, when the story is already written in my head, when I can see it play out word for word in my mind. It makes the process so much more difficult, but the reward is so much sweeter in the end. I am really looking forward to the day when the ass I need to kick is finally in my line of sight.

    Wish I could be there to give you a standing ovation. I would be that inept trailer park slut standing on the table in the very back of the room shouting "woot! woot! That's mah girl right there!" And then you would have to deny knowing me.

    1. Yeah, it's not really a choice, I'm just not good at major revisions. Going back to a previous chunk of text and having to completely turn it inside out in order for it to be good makes me feel like it was a waste of time in the first place. But I understand that it works differently for everyone.

      See what I'm talking about with the FUCK YEAH? Girl, I want you there at the graduation ceremony :) And then table dancing for the ass that you've kicked yourself. Awesome. How far along are you?


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