Part of the process of studying at this level is gaining a great understanding and mastery of self, in a number of different ways. This can mean things like the skills that you will gain that are transferrable to other situations (e.g. research skills). It can also mean a greater understanding of what makes you as a person, tick, and gain more self-confidence and selfworth.
I think I wrote before that a request for communication support for a conference had been turned down last week. While that situation is still not resolved, I finally realised last night quite why that has affected me so badly (not helped by two nights of very bad, fitful sleep). It very much ties into imposter syndrome: when you’ve spent years quite convinced that at any moment the uni will write, regretfully, that a mistake was made, that you have to leave, anything that provides a setback plays into that. That is particularly the case with this, which is connected to my deafness. There is a very long history of deaf people being told that we cannot do things (we can’t read, we shouldn’t sign, as doing so makes us look like performing monkeys, and so on), and being told “no” in such a way really plays into that history. In addition, it comes at a time when I’m waiting to hear whether a journal will take my first article and when I’m trying to pull together a PhD proposal. Right now, I’m getting achingly close to being able to achieve my dreams. When you’ve spent so long, and worked so hard on, trying to achieve those dreams, the thought of actually not achieving them is incredibly threatening. I really cannot overemphasise that.
Understanding this is half the battle; I am now putting things into place to try to stop it having quite such an effect on me, including having the above picture on the wall above my computer. What also helps is that yesterday I received an email from a contact in Herefordshire, asking me to come and deliver an hour long talk on an aspect of my research into Leominster’s history at their AGM in November, to 60 people. This will be the first time I’ll have spoken this long and it was with a lot of trepidation this morning that I wrote the email accepting his offer. And yes, I have declared my deafness (although I think they knew already). There will be room for questions afterwards so I had to. I’ve given them two options, one fun and informal (and cheap!), the other costly and more formal. We’ll see which they go for.
So today has been taken up with admin this morning, chasing people for various things, and this afternoon I’ve been getting into civil war politics in Coward. Fun! One foot in front of the other and keep b*ggering on, as Churchill would say.
Sometimes its all you can do. Pick yourself up after the knock downs.. and.. keep b*ggering on. I should have that printed on a T-shirt!