Big Life Changes as Moments of Reflection

Sometimes in a man’s life, we have big changes that mark the end of one era, and the beginning of another. These moments often bring some stress, some celebration, and occasionally loss and heartbreak. I’m going through some of them now, and I’d like to share my experiences with you.

In my career as an educator and philosopher, a lot of what I do is help people learn how to make meaning out of the complexities of human life. Today, that’s what I want to do here. I’ll start by sharing of some of my story, and then offer some reflections that I hope that you find valuable in your life as well.

My Story

I have been pursuing a Ph.D. in political theory for the last eight years. Most of it has gone rather well: my teaching gets great reviews at two different universities, my publications are growing, and my work is good. But, it hasn’t always been all good. At one point, I failed an important set of exams and had to re-take them a year later. That experience did major damage to my confidence and set my mental health back for years.

By the time this article goes live, I will have likely defended, and hopefully gotten approval on, my dissertation. That will mean that I will be the first one in my family not only to finish college but also to earn the title of “Doctor.”

I’m happy to be done with this process and on with my life. It has been an experience where I’ve grown a lot as a scholar, a mentor, and as a person. I also met my partner along the way, and now it looks like life is at the very least going in a good direction. Aside from some minor revisions, all that stands in the way between me and a major life goal is a single presentation and a round of questions from four distinguished members of the academic community. So, what does a philosopher make of a moment like this?

Leave a Comment