Inside/Outside: Philosophy and Me

Three years after completing my course work, I finally defended my philosophy thesis mid-June.  I’m happy to be moving beyond the era that began with “taking classes for fun,” a long process-driven period of study that, to my surprise, ended with a product.  A thesis, bound and soon to be shelved in a library.  There was nothing fun about creating the argument, nothing fun about the commitment of hundreds of hours of my baby’s first year of life to reading and writing abstractions, but when I hit that moment and could say without regret “it’s done,” the feeling was of calm satisfaction.  Staying with a project over many months and creating a long work that hangs together is good practice.  Perhaps that is the lesson I have made a part of me.  Writing and defending philosophical ideas also gave me a real appreciation for and understanding of what professional philosophers do, a valuable perspective on what it means to think through a problem.  That understanding will no doubt serve me and my tribe as I continue the hard work of being alive.  I’ve surprised myself before, but this time I’m confident:  A friend of philosophy I remain, but I leave the good work to the professionals who find their voice in its singing.