Well, not that kind of doctor. But I did receive notice that my PhD was conferred last week and I can now officially use the title of Doctor (at least in academic circles). It’s exciting and I’m relieved to be finished, but it does leave the question: now what?
Working on my doctoral research has consumed the last few years of my life. While some were able to go home and relax or catch up on the latest best sellers, I went home and read articles for my literature review or revised a chapter (again) based on supervisor feedback. My research has been the project that has kept my blogging to a minimum, my pop culture knowledge virtually non-existent for the last few years, and my weekends full of work. However, it has also been the reason for new friendships through the doctoral program, lots of contact with new ideas, and much intellectual growth. It’s been almost all-consuming and a process that I’m very glad I did, even now when I’m too tired to think about having a celebration. This has been my life that now, at the end of it, I have to figure out what it actually means and where I want to go (in all senses).
Since people have found out that I have gotten my degree, I’ve been asked numerous times what I am going to do next. My usual answer is “sleep” because I’m a bit tired (understatement) and need to get over the last bit of stress that accompanied trying to get all the last minute stuff finished. And since Hobbiton doesn’t seem in need of an archivist right now, I’m left to try to figure out what I actually want to do. And you know what? That’s okay.
It’s okay that I don’t know exactly what the next steps are going to be. It’s okay just to be. I love my work with the students and my colleagues here on campus. I’m super-excited about some upcoming collaborations with our amazing Theatre & Dance Department through my archives work and suddenly being “Dr. D” as some of my colleagues have dubbed me doesn’t mean I’ve completely changed. I’ve just grown some. More than anything, I need time to think and reflect about what I want to still accomplish professionally and personally before I undertake any radical changes. Why, after spending years working towards a goal, would I jump into another thing without seriously contemplating where it will take me? As J. R. R. Tolkien wrote,
It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.
I’d like to be in a little bit of control of where I’m swept off to next and I’ll keep you up to date on my journey, dear readers.
Now that we’re done with the update, a few other items. First, one thing I do know that I want to do is get back to blogging more regularly and start processing some of the ideas that I’ve had rattling around in my head for the last few months. So, expect to see more frequent posts here at The Waki Librarian. Also, for all my dear readers who are introverts, I can’t recommend Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking enough. I received a copy for my birthday and devoured it. Cain blends thorough research with an engaging writing style that will have you wanting to read it cover to cover in one go. It will make you feel good about being an introvert, if you are one, and understand introverts more if you aren’t one. Until you are able to get a copy of the book, check out Susan Cain’s TED Talk:
Have a wonderful day, dear readers, and I’ll be back soon with some technology and library talk. Allons-y!