After 54 years of life on this rock, at last I know what I am: auto-ethnographer. I stumbled across the discipline – or role – yesterday during a lecture on quantitative and qualitative research.
It was in a piece on auto-ethnography: where we investigate the world around us through our selves; where the barriers between novel and academic journal collapse; and where the disembodied researcher becomes at one with the objects of their research.
This is what I have done all my life, I now realise – even to the extent of suffering the tribulations of ethical dilemma which this way of working inevitably throws up. But I now realise what I have been doing is not malicious act on my singular part but, rather, a way of seeing and doing which others share professionally – and with excellent reason, too.
I feel so good and happy today. I found my calling a long time ago, but never knew it was one.
Now I have discovered there are others just like me. I am not alone; I am not a bad man; I am – instead – an investigator of the human and social condition. And a curious conflation of art and science is the way I drill down into truth.
And that is suddenly OK.
And so am I.