Getting through the dissertation defense was a major accomplishment. After getting completely smashed afterward, I had to go back to bed in the morning to recover from the celebration.
Sometimes the seat is uncomfortable and the outlook isn't so pretty.
Now I just have to finish up revisions. Easier said than done. While considered “minor”, my revision list is still “extensive”. Minor only means that my committee thinks I can actually accomplish the necessary fixes. Although I had high hopes for completing the needed work by the deadline for May graduation, I don’t think I can do it. That’s partly because I have 9 days of travel in the next 14, at which point the completed document would be due. But it’s also due to the depth of the required revisions.
After the high of getting through the whole defense rigamarole, reading through the revision list was sobering. More so as it coincided with my natural “freak-out” day from PMS. Dropping hormone levels always make me hypersensitive at this time of month, making something like this especially hard.
How very bipolar to go from flying high to down in the dumps on the turn of a dime… Revisions are expected, but their nature and difficulty is widely variable. These are harder than I had hoped would be leveraged on me. At the moment, it negates the accomplishment, makes me feel awful about the work that I sunk into it, and has robbed me of the slim hope of graduating this year. This is what happens when I get my hopes up, and this is why I have trained myself to keep my expectations low. It’s just crushing to have been allowed to think that it was possible to actually graduate in May when it wasn’t that realistic. Knowing that I can’t hit that deadline means there’s no point in getting started on those revisions today. I am as unmotivated today as I was motivated at the start of the week, and angry about some of the revisions, which are nothing short of stupid and pointless – but it’s not something I can negotiate.
There are worse possible outcomes, and I really did accomplish something big. It’s just hard to keep that in perspective when my brain refuses to see the good and fixates on the bad. At the moment, all the congratulations seem hollow and I feel like an imposter because I’m not really done. Technically, it’s still Almost-Dr. The dissertation is still clinging to my back like some kind of rabid overweight baboon, and I just want to kill the horrid thing.
I will probably feel better about this after another night or two, after I’ve started working on the revisions, after seeing my comrades next week in California, and after going to DC to serve as an expert adviser to the Smithsonian the week after. But right now, I’m just frustrated.