Dear world outside there ...

I am not a gifted writer. I prefer images to words. So, in my non-poetic ways, let me apologise for lately neglecting you and those inhabiting you. Let me apologise for all the Christmas and New Year cards I didn’t send, for all the birthdays I missed, and all the friends’ I’ve recently turned down. But I am trapped here between my fieldwork journals, academic volumes and the screen of my computer. Except when I am on my way here, or on my way home, or sleep. So, my sincere apologies but this PhD has taken over my life.

No, I’m not complaining. I wanted this. I chose this. Although, sometimes I need to remind myself how much I wanted it. I make an effort to remember those tears of joy when I received news I had been accepted for an AHRC scholarship covering my fees. The excitement when I learned that the AHRC would also financially assist me during fieldwork. But sometimes, I admit, it just feels like life is passing me by while I’m here starring at the screen, trying to put into academic English my thoughts on ‘Contemporary Arts in Nigeria.’ Sometimes I doubt whether there will even be an end to the writing, rewriting, and editing. Then I wonder why I could not have made do with just any nine to five job. Nine to five and reasonably well paid. Instead of ten (I admit occasionally eleven) to midnight (sometimes one) and paying for it. And yes, I could have stayed with just any of the dull jobs I did before I joined the PhD programme. I might even have made the gallery assignment work – or, maybe, not this one. But I really wanted to do this PhD. I chose this. And I am happy with it. Most of the time. But sometimes I just feel I took on too much. Like I am pursuing a dream not actually meant for me but somebody else. And then I get tired, impatient, moody. And then I shut down and build walls around myself. I abandon the world outside the windows of the computer room. I forget Christmas, New Year, Easter and birthdays. I let down friends and stop following the news.

And now, right now, there is another of these moments. When it feels like I bit of more than I can chew. When it feels like this was meant for somebody with more stamina than I got. When it feels like the walls are craving in on me. But I wanted this. I chose this PhD. And I will hang on in there. I will just, once more, close the door on the world outside of the windows of the PC lab.

So, my apologies in advance. And pls. bear with me so we can catch up later. When I return to the social site of research (i.e. blogging), the social site of life (i.e. friends), life itself and this huge exciting world out there, outside of the walls of my university … So pls. do not abandon me.

See you later … I hope ...

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