I am nearing the end of my time as a graduate student. I’m so close; I can almost taste it (whatever it is that an MSc in Environmental Engineering tastes like…)!
But, I’m having some problems: I’ve really been lacking in the motivation department lately. The past 2 weeks have been pathetic attempts at trying to write out my thesis. A never ending spiral of minimal work, distraction, guilt, shame, avoidance, and oversleeping has taken over my life, and it is frustrating me to no end.
This is really weird, especially in contrast to how I was only 3 weeks ago, when I went to visit friends in Toronto for a week. I was a little wary of taking a vacation at the time, since I felt that I should be focusing on writing and not leisure, so I brought my laptop with me. I promised myself 2 hours a day in the morning at a random coffee shop, that I would stumble upon whilst exploring the town so I could go visit friends (who almost all conveniently work in the same office) for lunch, and then back for more personal exploring, work, meetings, or hanging out until friends or hosts would be done work. I was magically productive. I wrote out more during that one week than I have this entire time I have been back home – a fact that is not helping how guilty I feel about this whole thing.
How can I enjoy writing for a blog about the ambiguous parts of life, but not write out scientific evidence that I’ve been working on for 2 years?
I have also noticed that I’m growing increasingly distracted as of late. No, I’m not just talking about the countless hours spent on failblog, imgur, social media sites or blogs I’ve been reading lately (I’m not going to give you the urls, just to save you all from going down that dangerous path into the depths of the internet). Instead, I find myself distracted with what I want to do again after my degree. This is partly due to having such a lovely time in Toronto, and wanting to move to start a career there.
I feel as though I am being pulled in all sorts of directions again, questioning issues of my identity, passions, values, and ideals.
Trying to find the motivation to write my thesis has become a larger focus of finding motivation for what I want to do with my life from here on out.
I have been trapped in this situation before. Am I handling it better? Not completely, but it isn’t unfamiliar. Am I overthinking things again? Yes. Very much so. Is it bad I am overthinking things? Yes and no. Letting it control me like the way it has this week is bad, but being self-aware that this is part of me, helps me manage it and to understand what is going on.
So, having this period of lacking in motivation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s giving me an opportunity to re-evaluate what I want to really do. It’s letting me look at my short term and long term goals and whether or not they are relevant anymore. It is almost humbling, in reminding myself that I am someone that is still growing and trying to understand myself.