I read about something that resonated with my current state – the muddy middle. This is the conceptualisation of liminality. Liminality is a state of in-between-ness and ambiguity. I completely identify with this state. As a novice PhD student , I am still lurking on the outskirts of the academic scholarly world. I have not yet got a clear prestigious entry pass in nor am a complete stranger. I have lots of friends and supporters on both sides of the world but very few in between. Welcome to my muddled middle earth!
As I train to one day become a well established and widely recognised PhD researcher, I constantly question my state of being. Where do I stand on the quantification scale. I subconsciously measure how close or far away I am each day or month from being the researcher I always wanted to be.
It might sound perssimistic, but on most days my literature review takes me one step forward and four steps backwards. My liminality is constantly reinforced by the fact of how little I knew yesterday than I know today. But in spite of this do I feel discouraged? – probably not and will never.
With every new wonderful thing I learn about my research, I feel a tremendous need to know even more. I do feel more muddled honestly than I ever did before, but its not such a sad state after all. Why? I did think about this a lot, only to realise that I am a liminality who constantly challenges status quo and is being challenged in return, intrigued, interested, enriched, stimulated and sometimes utterly drained and exhausted on an everyday basis……But would I do something else? Absolutely not. I am enjoying this little space I have made for myself in this muddled middle earth for now. I just need to make sure I don’t start building a fortress around me 🙂