Again. I start at the beginning all over again. It has been difficult to maintain momentum when I’ve been trying to figure out real life survival as a single parent who may have rendered herself unemployable in a job market that rewards experience over education (and all I have to show for my eleven years of full-fledged adulthood is education atop education atop education). I was sold a lie. Or perhaps I was sold a dream. Or perhaps I believed in the dream of a dreamer with limited perspective. I’m sure the first of my ancestors who believed in the inextricable link between education and opportunity didn’t see the ways that webs were forged over kinship that we could neither see nor infiltrate.
But I digress. What I want to do is finish the dissertation because my pursuit of the credential has been extremely expensive in more than one way. And I am eager, as my dissertation doula once laid out, to join the ongoing conversation about Black girlhood. To see my work as an addition to the archive rather than as a means to an end is both a challenge and possibly the only light on this dark side of the dissertation process.
So I begin again. Step one: update my research.