I had a really awesome heart-to-heart with my advisor a couple weeks ago. This occurred after we mutually decided to postpone my thesis proposal until the fall because of my heavy workload this semester. I don’t know if you all know this, but my advisor, Dr. Kim is probably one of the most influential women in my life ever. Aside from maybe my mother and grandmother. She is amazing in so many ways. But anyway, she encouraged me not to rush and to really make the proposal good. She also encouraged me to be concurrently thinking about what my career plans are for after I finish this degree and really pushed for me to think about a PhD program. This is something I never really intended to do, but it is the focus and “purpose” of our program. I think I never really thought I was smart enough, but she seems to think I would do well. =)
She knows me so well, it’s crazy. It’s true that I don’t really have much direction and I don’t even really know what I’m going to do with this degree. But she encouraged me to take this time to think about it. She said something to the effect of not getting so distracted with a family that I lose sight of my full potential. Now this is a woman who is also a mother and has always been extremely encouraging of my family needs and so inspiring as a mother. She also nursed her child into toddlerhood and encouraged me to do the same even while I was still pregnant. But she doesn’t think I’m the type to “only” do just the mom thing and said that the academic world would be missing out if I abandoned it. It was so encouraging to hear that from her. As much as I respect full-time, stay-at-home-moms, I agree that I’ve never really been that type. Even though I am a SAHM, I always seem to also be doing something else. School, directing a play, both. whatever. So I was very encouraged by her to hear confirmation that perhaps I should continue to pursue my creative/intellectual life while I’m raising kids. Still not sure about the whole PhD thing, but I am newly inspired to make tentative plans for the next few years.
My other reservation is that to me pursuing a doctorate seems to be another postponement or perhaps permanent retirement of my acting career. Not sure that I’m ready for that yet. Maybe because I never really knew I was giving it up? I always thought of myself as just taking a break to have a kid or finish my degree. So am I an artist or an academic? Beats me. I do find myself thinking about directing quite a bit, though. I think this is where my intellectual ideas really flourish. I get tired of writing papers all the time, but I do enjoy the intellectual pursuit of them. Directing is where the actor and the intellectual collide, for me anyway. So maybe I should think more about that. My colleagues at school say there are a few PhD programs out there that have a directing aspect to them. Maybe I ought to check them out.
What are your thoughts, people? What do you think I should do with my life? =) Seriously– I’d love your feedback.