Fourteen: Reflection

Today*, I wrote out what intellectual will meant to me. I already had a definition that I wrote, but it needed to be revised. As I was reflecting on the definition, I realized that I needed to think back to the circumstances that I was under that made me make major changes in my life.

The intellectual will is a result of my perseverance. My adaptation. My survival.

I struggled during my PhD program and slipped into depression. I am a giver who likes structure and external deadlines. I spent a lot of time helping other people and not doing my own work. I was in an environment that had no structure and I hated it. I had people in positions of power telling me that I wouldn’t graduate and I wasn’t PhD material. That line will stick with me for life. Afterwards, I slipped into a spiral that took months to unravel.

When I felt most alone and confused, I turned to my journal. Then I turned to books. Then I tapped into my desire to figure things out. Eventually, I organized my way out of confusion. I learned about myself.

Even though perseverance and adaptation in the midst of uncertainty are the seeds of which the intellectual will grew; I’m having trouble distilling the definition into one sentence. Is the intellectual will a method, a character trait, or a document? My original definition has it as all three, but I feel it should be something simple that people can easily share.

Goals for tomorrow

  1. Read old journal entries and take notes
  2. Revise intellectual will definition
  3. Write Listed update


*note, I’m writing this at 11:08pm 8/4 on my phone. I couldn’t figure out how to share the post from the mobile app (I usually share from my laptop).

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