Probably a wall of text coming. I'm kind of approaching the end of my PhD. I tell ya, every one of my insecurities has been brought to the fore in this process.
Social insecurity, because I've moved to another city where I had no family or friends. To upheave things a little more, my girlfriend still lives overseas, so we've mostly been apart since the beginning of 2016.
I've had a bunch of folks, cycling buddies, who I started training and racing with a few months after I moved here. In the beginning it was a really small, tight knit bunch, and very different from your regular-up-themselves cycling wankers. They were inclusive and easy to be around, which was very appealing to me. I don't handle big group dynamics very well. As the group grew however, and keeps growing, little sub groups are forming, and I don't like that much. I began to notice exclusivity among folks, and whether I'm on the inside or outside of that doesn't really matter, because I hate seeing it happen, and having my own fears tapped by it. I pulled back from it all a while ago and just rode by myself, tried to reconfigure my expectations, and have just started engaging with them again in small doses. I've gotta get my social needs met elsewhere though.
Intellectual insecurity is a thing too, because I'm not really a trained researcher, but rather, a musician who does research. Being in that position has some significant advantages, though. I've basically invented an analytic framework from scratch. It's innovative, and no one has done anything like what I have before. I presented at an overseas symposium in July, and my talk generated a lot of questions and interest. It even got to the point where listeners were questioning and arguing with each other, which was great. Nobody asked me a question that really dug at the core of what I'm doing though, so it's reassuring that no one is approaching this topic like I am, but at the same time, it's a bit lonely out here.
Creative insecurity, I suppose you might call it. Doing music is a stupid career choice at the best of times, but doing traditional music of another culture has gotta be dumb. I'm hopelessly intrigued by it and infatuated with it, absolutely compelled to do it, but this kind of desire is not easy. People frequently ask me, "But what are you going to do with it?" Anyone who asks that question could never do it, but it's so profound to me that there wasn't really a choice.
Since 2009, I've had one job for two years, which paid me over $1000 a day, and I only worked two days a month. I've been on scholarships the rest of the time, which is fucking amazing, and I'm full of gratitude to the universe for that. My current scholarship runs out in less than a month, so I've gotta work while I finish my thesis.
Though I have a few nice things, I don't have much money, but I was thinking the other day that even if I had more money, it would not fundamentally change the way I go about my current pursuits - I'd still be doing the same things. I guess that means I'm doing what I want already. Not being in a sharehouse would certainly be nice. Apart from that, all I'd really do with more money is engage in better quality distractions.
One major distraction has been cycling, and I am as fit as a motherfucker at the moment. Recently did vo2max and lactate threshold tests in a lab, and got pretty decent scores. Out of the last six races I've been in, I came first in three, and third in two. Later this week I'll be racing in a national race. Amateur, but it's still national level, and it's a chance to maybe pull on a national jersey. My role will basically be the shielded sprinter, kept fresh for delivery to the line by two other team mates. Very much looking forward to that.
Fuck mate, cycling is the only thing that provides simple enjoyment at the moment.
I've bitten off a big chunk of life and I'm chewing like a bastard. I'm not tired of life, but tired from it. Been running over threshold for too long. Gotta get this thesis done. That's what's on my mind.