Decisions we make impact our lives. We are our choices, good ones and bad ones.
I forced myself to make one promise after I finished my Master's degree: DO NOT under any circumstance do a PhD. You will not make it.
And after three years, and 60 000 words, here I am on the last leg of writing my PhD. Here I am, spending days on end writing about a topic that few even want to consider, hence the PhD. And I am 60,000 words in already. And it feels like I have said a whole lot of nothing in almost a novel's length.
170 A4 pages.
1 single argument.
Countless hours of back-breaking work.
And what is it worth? In its final form, few people will read it. The final product will be 90,000 words, it will be about 300 pages long. Who will read this beast of a document? No one really. There is a funny joke that only 5 people will read your PhD: (i) your examiner, (ii) your supervisor, (iii) you, (iv) your proofreader, and (v) your dog. No one really cares about reading PhDs. It is more a mark of honour, a symbol. Every doctor and professor will have finished a PhD. But the important part is publishing from your PhD, then people will actually read it.
And this produces the question: what is it worth really? If only a symbol, a status, a title, why do it? If people would rather read an article of 20 odd pages, why spend so many hours writing a 300-page document, and sit through countless meetings in which your work gets scrutinised to the smallest detail, why do it?
I am not really sure and at this stage, I think writing a PhD is a type of intellectual masochism.
In the end, you need to be happy with your own choices. We are but a bunch of choices at the end of the day. I made the choice to pursue a PhD. So I need to be happy with the relatively few hours I get a day to not think about the work. I need to be happy with the state of my life because of the countless hours I spend writing this lengthy document.
Yet I feel like it is such a waste. I could spend time writing articles, which would have a much larger impact. I could be writing a novel or practising my Philosophical Counselling, which I am only deepening the theoretical stance I already have in it. But no, I am writing, only writing, 30,000 words away from the finish line. And what a race it has already been.
This post is merely the last thoughts that I could muster after a lengthy day of discussions with my supervisors. It is my own work. The photographs are my own as well, taken with my iPhone.