There is a way that people talk about their dissertations that really bugs me. “Oh this old thing? Ain’t nothing. I just wrote a bad book.”

Are you KIDDING me? Years of your life invested, the privilege of having those years to invest, and we’re going to do this dance?

Well. I’m done and I have those three letters now too. And you know what? I didn’t write a bad book, I wrote a badass book. I worked my ass off on it, tried to balance being true to how I write while still adhering to what I needed to do to make it “academic.”

With that said, of the questions asked during my defense, one lingers because I don’t really know what my response is. I had a response, a stupid response, but I kind of wish I had just said what I feel. I am exhausted, so when I was asked what I plan to do with the work I did (publish, etc.), I rambled on for a moment because I don’t really know. Because I am exhausted. Because I have a child and a job and cancer surgery stole a month away from my writing time but I still finished in time for the defense.

I know what I found should be heard because the academic narrative around the It Gets Better Project is so critical and my research took a different path. I know that. But I don’t really know what I want to do about it. Academic publishing isn’t necessary to my career and it’s not the kind of writing that makes me happy, but if I just write essays about the work and it hasn’t been published…that has other drawbacks.

Anyway. I’m glad to be done and everyone tells me to give it a month or two and breathe.