I’m enjoying this serenity – the calm after the storm of writing, editing, rewriting, and submitting a whole load of paperwork in an insanely hectic whirlwind of panic over the last 2 months.

Ten documents, including a progress report of 8000 words, for progress review later this month – check. An 11000-word manuscript, for a journal – check. A skills development plan of 19 pages – check. Slides for the research conference on Thursday – check.

Check that you’ve still got your head screwed on and that your brain’s still in it.


It’s amazing how it’s possible to function so well when you’re still experiencing such a profound sadness inside. I suppose this comes about from not wanting to share my sadness with the world. To me, the world already has enough sadness in it, without my adding my own miseries of loneliness, guilt, or shame. It’s my way of dealing with the sadness to keep it inside, hidden from other people, so that no one knows. If no one knows, then it cannot possibly exist.

Soon this serenity will become a serendipity for someone. What can we do? I’m only human.

Soon, things will start coming out into plain sight, and I hope that, through this coming, the sadness will begin to feel real, instead of the surreal dream-like state it has felt like for nearly a year. Sometimes it has been so confusing that I don’t even know if it’s real or not. I know it is real, because if it were not, I would not feel it, and yet my reluctance to make it known to others has meant I have mentioned it in passing to only a few people, and they, perhaps sensing my reluctance, or becoming perplexed by the mish-mash of other bizarre personal dilemmas I serve to them with it to disguise it, do not dwell on it for long, and thus it never becomes real to me, because it is never spoken.

To hell with it. “And he can go to the devil,” as Razumikhin would say.

So, with all that paperwork done, and the manuscript submitted, what’s next on the serendipity-lined road to so-called PhD awesomeness?

The theoretical paper on the cultural constructedness of human flourishing?