Anxiety, Loneliness, and Life Planning Revisited

I realise I’ve been very quiet the last few months, maybe the last half year. At first, it was because I was not doing well. It was too difficult for me to do anything beyond the necessary, and my online (creative) life was the first thing to go.

Since then I’ve been feeling better. Yay! The overwhelming lethargy has faded, the constant anxiety retreated to the background. Another piece of fantastic news is that I feel less lonely than I did before. I’m reaching out to people consciously, and their responses have been lovely. I am grateful for the awesome bunch of friends that I have, that make everything easier and more fun.

Why the return of my energy and excitement did not spell the return to my blogs and social media is something I have been thinking about. To be honest, I have not been feeling very much motivation to be on Twitter or blog constantly. Digging a little deeper, I think much of my online behaviour stemmed from loneliness. My online presence acted as a substitute for the companionship I was missing in “real” life. Now, I am more content with the social contacts I already have, and I don’t feel the need to search for more in the digital world.

Secondly, there has been another shift in my life. I’ll probably blog some more about this later and/or on Nyx Book Reviews. For years I had a clear idea who I was, who I wanted to be, and how to go about it. I was going to be an author, a writer of speculative fiction. I would graduate from university, and get a part-time job to pay the bills, and write.

I’ve graduated. But I have no inclination to write fiction.

To be very honest with you here, I feel out of touch with fiction books on a whole. I barely read them anymore, and when I do, they tend to leave me cold. This is a subject I would like to discuss in a separate post some day soon, because I find this quite interesting.

At first, that was disconcerting. If I wasn’t going to be an author now, what was I supposed to do with myself? Who would I be, without the SF/fantasy love? Without a book blog, Twitter parties, and readathons? Deciding what I want to do instead has been a journey, and one I still haven’t seen the end of. I’ve been following my interests, and am now pursuing a PhD position in line of my master’s thesis (in case you’re curious, it’s about penny dreadfuls and gender theory). I have always loved to learn, to discover, to think, and academic research ticks all those boxes in the best possible way.

Getting a PhD isn’t a very straightforward process, so I have been sending out emails, inquiring after possibilities, while working on strengthening my academic CV by rewriting my thesis into an article, and sending out paper proposals for conferences. It might take a while until I get a position, and in the meantime I’m tutoring high school kids to pay rent. It’s frustrating that now I know what I want to do, it might still take up to two years until I truly get to do it, but I’m trying not to get discouraged. I’ll get there eventually.

10 thoughts on “Anxiety, Loneliness, and Life Planning Revisited

  1. Are you a fellow humanities/English major? (My memory is crap, so if you’ve mentioned it, I’ve forgotten. But it seems like you might be.) While I was in school and especially for a while after I graduated, I just couldn’t enjoy fiction. Anything I read was underwhelming. What was the point? And that was just after a BA; I never went for postgrad. I can only imagine that’s even more frazzling and burnout-inducing. But I also went a huge nonfiction binge/fiction avoidance — that feels pretty normal to me. You’re not alone in that, at least. Good luck with the PhD hunt!

    • Yes! I did a BA in Cultural Studies and an MA Cultural History, back to back. So… I’m actually quite convinced by your point now, haha. After studying fiction for academic purposes for so long, my brains is probably like “enough with the books already!”. I too am going through a bit of a non-fiction binge at the moment! Good to hear you experienced something similar 🙂 Thank you!

  2. I’m glad you’re spending more time strengthening in-person relationships. (But don’t forget about me! :P) It’s harder to make friends as an adult, and much easier to make friends online as an introvert, so I think it’s easy to forget that it’s also important to have people who are physically present in our lives.

    I’m definitely interested in a post about your changing relationship to fiction!

    I can’t imagine doing a PhD myself, but I think it’s a great choice for you. 🙂

    • I would never forget about you! I’m a bit slow on the answering.. but you’re definitely not forgotten ^_^

      Most adults seem to already have their friends, and aren’t all that interested in making new connections. It’s not like in high school where you’re kind of thrown together anyway.

  3. *hugs* I’m so glad things are getting better! I’m always here if you need to talk! I’ve been off Twitter since I quit book blogging and haven’t really been around as much myself. Social media can be exhausting. Every time I think I want to get back into Twitter, there’s drama in the blogging world and it’s just too exhausting to wade through to find the tweets from my friends who aren’t involved. Or they too have gone silent because of not wanting to deal with the blogger drama. It makes it easier to withdraw.

    Best of luck with your PhD! Wow! You got this though. You’ve GOT. THIS.

    • Thank you Terri! 🙂 *hugs*

      I completely feel you on the social media being exhausting. It’s as if every week there is some person misbehaving, and even though you can mute instigators, the drama tends to spread drastically anyways. Makes me a bit sad though that many of us are staying silent or away.

  4. I’m very happy to hear you’re feeling better on the personal front!! ♥ And best of luck with your PhD process! You.Can.Do.It! I know what you mean on two fronts: 1. I thought I knew who I wanted to be when I went to Uni but ended up not having a clue. After going back to studies, changing focus and heading out to work in the real world, I finally put myself on the path that lead me to where I am now which is where I wanted to be. It wasn’t an easy road but it was worth it 🙂 And 2. I’ve been feeling a bit burnt out on blogging lately as well. I’m not saying I’m ready to quit or anything but it has lost something for me. I’m hoping it’s just a phase but we’ll see. Anyway, ALL the best to you my friend. Take care! xxxx

    • Thanks Mich! ❤ I'm so glad to hear you found your way, even though it wasn't the road you set out for at first. I think some re-arranging is only natural, especially when you're studying and orienting yourself.

      I feel the same way about blogging. Maybe we should have a support group or something, for burnt out bloggers, ha.

      Thanks for your kind words, you're the bestest xxx

  5. So happy to hear from you again! Stick with it–we all go through things in life that may change dramatically who we thought we were or what we thought we were interested in, and that’s okay! 🙂

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