I Am Powerless #12Stepping

Posted January 4, 2018 @ 6:25pm | by Tripp

I keep applying for jobs. This is part and parcel of academic life, I'm told. Just keep applying. The pool of applicants is enormous. The pool of positions is wee small dinky. So, yeah, I don't math, per se, but even I would hazard to guess that's a bad situation. 

I am not in control. Again. As if I ever was. Still, I like to pretend that my plans matter and that my chewing on my thoughts and dreams and aspirations makes an iota of difference. 

Can it not be said once more and once more again that one's deep desire for control of one's fate, perhaps even one's so-called improvement is a kind of hubris? Healing is one thing. Lord knows we are in need of healing. All of us. But healing comes at the hands of a physician of some kind, one who offers salubrious tinctures for body, mind, or soul. Certainly, the patient is to participate and follow the instructions of the physician, but I wonder if the constant barrage of "improve yourself" messages we receive give us a false sense of control. 

Can it not be said once more and once more again that one's deep desire for control of one's fate, perhaps even one's so-called improvement is a kind of hubris?

In the Twelve Steps programs I've been known to frequent, the first half of the first step is to admit one is powerless over one's addiction. Otherwise, you would have done something about it by now. Perhaps you would still be married or employed or whatever else it is that you lost that was the reality of hitting bottom. You would still have your physical, mental, and spiritual health if you weren't powerless over the Stuff. 

But the Stuff is powerful. More powerful than you are. 

The Stuff is more powerful than I am. 

And here I am again renewing the lesson. This time, it's not an addiction but a life situation over which I am powerless. What will happen after I finish my dissertation? No one can say. No. One. There's no one clear next step. There's no one clear right move. There is no right answer. 

There is only us. Me, my family, and my friends trying to keep the hustle (as the kids call it) alive. I am powerless over so much of the next things. My hope is not to over-reach. My hope is to know what I can control and what I cannot before I do something significantly stupid. 

Ah, PhD life is the life. 

 
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