This Stuff Just Happens

So the funny thing about passing my comprehensive exams is that I now have no idea what to do with myself.

It’s reminded me, this feeling, of a moment in Fanspired’s story, “Conversations With Head People,” a Wincest tale in which a meta-version of Fanspired herself tries to explain to Sam Winchester how much agency he possesses as a fictional character within her writing:

I only try to write honestly and this stuff just happens […] I can’t help the way you react, or the issues that get raised in the process. That’s your doing. All I do is ask ‘what happens next?’ and you answer me.

Right.

I keep asking, sure, but there’s no one to answer.

Oh, I have shit I should be doing: a couple of conference proposals, revising my prospectus, catching up on the theory I’ll need to draw from as my project moves forward.

And my class steams ahead, too; I always have my students to think of, true.

But–

I feel as though I’m in limbo. Not in a bad way at all, but more like a liminal space.

When your official status can be described as “all but,” perhaps that’s not really surprising.

I don’t know.

I suppose the next concerted push will come in a year’s time (knock on wood), when according to the Powers That Be, I should be applying for jobs.

In the meantime, in essence: my purpose is to read and write, to study and create, to research and to make something new. Or new to me, at least.

It’s kind of bizarre.

My academic self, the one that tends to ride herd over any other facets of me, is stuck in the needle groove of the question: what happens next?

(Waits with baited breath; looks over shoulder.)

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