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Doing a PhD feels like driving a van…

Saturday, May 31st, 2008 @ 10:40 am
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Posted in  Creative, Personal Process

I was walking down the road yesterday morning and i met a friend. she asked me: “so, how is the PhD going?”…I paused for a bit to think of how i could capture the sense i have at the moment and replied by saying: “well, it feels like driving a van. It is huge, needs a lot of manoeuvring and you dont have a clear sense of its ‘body’, you dont have visibility of the edges of the vehicle, just a general sense of it but still you keep driving, turning, accelerating, pushing the brakes, looking at mirrors and constantly loading and off-loading”. My friend looked at me and said: “wow, this is such a demonstrative metaphor…i once applied for a PhD too but eventually didnt start cause i was scared it would take over my life”. I responded by saying: “well, it does, at least at some point, it needs your full attention…like when you are on the wheel…but you become experienced driver as the time passes and more confident on the road”.

Thinking about this metaphor…I must admit that i have always been a good driver. I gained my license since i was about 19 and i have driven in both sides (left and right) without EVER having any accident. I was also told that i look confident on the wheel and people have felt comfortable when riding togeher…but i have only driven small cars so far…not a van! and i dont think i look like a big guy with a moustache and tatoos, with a cigar in my mouth like some van drivers i have seen….lol…well, here i am now though, with a PhD that does feel like trying to manoeuvre a big vehicle…and i do like i always did as a driver…keep driving, even if i felt a bit on edge at times…it then became automatic and natural…is that the same with a van? or will i eventually feel that it is not a van anymore but just my own vehicle that i will have known well and maybe had become the ‘extension of my body’ like i feel with a normal sized car?

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