Friday, May 4, 2012

The Answers are in the Data

I've hit a wall in the past couple of weeks.  Maybe I've hit a couple of walls.  All I know?  Is that the forward momentum that I would love to be seeing is at a stand still.  Or maybe it's simply incubating.  Who knows?  My fellow dissertation writers know this feeling.  All of us know this feeling.  You're moving moving moving forward and suddenly, seemingly without any reason at all, you fall flat.  Thankfully, I'm at least aware enough to acknowledge that this is not a permanent state.  (I hope....I believe...I trust...I try and remind myself...)

So, at this moment?  I focus on some concrete things that actually seem tangible.  I reflect on miniature butterfly hair clips as fashion statement, the taste of a mango-pineapple smoothie for breakfast, a moment of laughter coupled with an eye roll at a student's behavior.   I reviewed a couple of hours of video data this evening.  I reminded myself that my students and I have a story that people should hear and read.  I reminded myself that this work is all for a greater purpose than me.  I think.  I hope.  I believe.  I trust.  I remind myself.

I know there are answers if we look closely.  We can draw conclusions based on close observation.  And so I look.  I look around at what's true.  And the truth keeps shifting on me.  Do you have those moments when your true north feels slightly skewed?  When your belief system is shaken just slightly?  This is where I return to when I'm feeling this way:
Watch it.  Really. (Buddy Wakefield's "Information Man" on You Tube)

I haven't revisited Buddy Wakefield in some time.  BUT, he helps me move forward.  He helps me recognize just how tenuous truth is, and how much reality hurts, but how beautiful it all is.

"There is a distance the size of bravery"--and at moments, I feel like I am not brave enough to cross this distance.  You know that's the distance between here and now and what you have imagined as truth and where you're headed.  It's a combination of fear and loathing, and a dream of the future.  It's as simple as a dog panting by your side and as complicated as an emotional wound you can't seem to reconcile.

"But tonight, I am going to get the answer..."

Or not.  But at least I know I'm looking for one.

The beauty is knowing there is someone out there reminding me that we all have questions.  Regardless of our pursuits--research, life, love, is a question.  And answers are fucking elusive.

"Even at your worst, you are fucking incredible.  So return to yourself.  Even if you're already there.  'Cause no matter where you go or how hard you try or what you do, the only person you are ever gonna get to be, and I know it, thank god, is you."

Thank whoever you want.  I'm grateful for every single one of us.

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