when i went back to finish my undergrad in 2007, i had a really hard time sitting down to write papers. looking back i can see that it was a lot of anxiety, poor organizational and time management skills, and perfectionism. basically i was expecting to turn out a perfect first draft on the night before class. i’m a good writer and i knew that, but i wasn’t allowing myself the time it took to put some ideas down, step away, rework them, step away, come back, etc. as i began to learn how to do that, it became much more fulfilling and a source of pride to write good papers. it was around that time that i began to think about papers as birthing a baby. it’s all inside of me, based on everything i have learned and processed, it just needs to come out. not a perfect analogy, but it works for me.
i’m in the process of birthing my last big baby paper – my master’s thesis. i can honestly say i’ve been working on it since last fall. though come to think of it, it’s been a lifetime in the making. i’ve chosen a subject close to my heart: mixed-race identity development. right now i’ve got about 38 of the required 45 pages written, it’s really getting close. of course i’ve walked away several times, sometimes for months at a time. and that’s what it takes. getting really deep into it, and then getting some perspective. i’m really proud of it. i love that at this stage in education, you follow your interest and try to create some new thoughts, ideas, connections. so in thinking through my own experience, what i would’ve liked, and what i need now, i get to research and make connections and put my perspective into a big piece of work, a labor of love. and it’s almost done, i’m so excited!