A few weeks ago a college classmate asked me, “What are you passionate about?” I remained silent. I had never asked myself that question before – what are you most excited about? I saw fleeting scenes of me doing various artistic and sporting activities when I was a minor. I thought about answering that, but a new question clouded my mind: what am I passionate about now? “I love writing and researching,” is the automatic answer I give to my social environment. Followed by this I point out: “but it is a complex relationship of discontent-satisfaction”.
Putting our ideas on an empty sheet of paper is the first achievement of every researcher. Writing a paragraph can make me sit for three hours. That doesn’t mean I don’t have the capacity to produce it, it’s just that I’m usually so meticulous to the point of perfectionism. Therefore, I am used to plan my activities in advance and, unfortunately, when they do not go as planned, frustration sets in.
I am currently analyzing the communicative role of the actors in the generation of the life cycle of the socio-environmental conflict in Santa Clara de Uchunya in the face of the expansion of oil palm agribusiness by the Ocho Sur companies. The theme was defined hours before the writing of this blog.
I was presented with different obstacles that prevented the continuation of my research and this, clearly, generated an imbalance in my routine. How feasible is it to rethink a research? It was a question that overwhelmed me and I did not dare to answer. I was aware of my exhaustive search for contacts: the sending of phone messages after being referred by other actors, the pursuit through social networks of the individuals I sought to interview. It seemed to me an intrusive but necessary action. However, I began to feel discouraged when each of them preferred to refrain from giving their opinion on the subject and, consequently, rejected my interview request.
How feasible was it to analyze perceptions and attitudes around a socio-environmental conflict? A delicate subject, clearly. That was how I got my first taste of the reality of a professional.
“Without interviews I have no support” I commented to my advisor during a session in which I promised to tell her about the information I had gathered in the interviews. I had high expectations for that day. I must admit that I was totally depressed and frustrated because my research was falling apart, but I received encouraging comments that gave me a hug from a distance and strengthened me to make the decision to rethink the study again.
It is now two o’clock in the morning and, as I noted, I find myself rethinking my research again. The phase of dissatisfaction with it is over. I recognize that this is a process full of new experiences that have allowed me to learn not only about the chosen topic, but also about the environment and to face reality. I know that I will be satisfied and proud of my research, now I just look forward to finish it to prove to myself that I was capable.