Finish line

Well folks, I am back and it’s story time.  I once saw the end of a race.  The cyclist had just completed a long and arduous course and was going to come out on top.  As a result, he begins to raise his fists with joy.  Unfortunately, while he is busy celebrating his impending victory he falls off of his bicycle and the competitor behind him wins.  Really in these types of situations do you laugh or cry?  In my case I get a take-home lesson without having to feel the heartbreak myself: you shouldn’t relish something you haven’t quite attained yet.

I’ve stayed away because I didn’t have the mental energy to write any posts.  I had to put all of my effort and focus into completing the last revisions and defending my dissertation.  Well, it is done and surprisingly does not feel nearly as satisfying as you would think.  Of course I’m happy and relieved but also hungry for my next challenge.  It is never enough.  I also had another baby a month after defending and he is a sweet little bun.  I am in a house filled with boys and people always say that it means that I’ll always be taken care of.  Being adored sounds pretty good to me.  I’m back but I’m also sleep-deprived.  While the thoughts are still there getting them down on paper takes a bit more effort and it doesn’t sound quite as sharp.  But onward right?  If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from the last time it’s that the fatigue lifts, the body rebounds and the mind becomes quick once more.

That cyclist’s fate reminds me of why I continually try to practice restraint and discretion.  In my mind there is nothing worse than revealing every little part of yourself.  What some people consider friendly I call boring.  Musings from Lainey and Kristen Stewart of all people support my point.  Lainey’s sound advice is that “you light it up when you’re done.”  This is a great reference when you’re working hard and making sacrifices to meet your objective.  At one point during the revision process the frustration was starting to get to me.  Really, you can only re-read a 200 plus page document so many times without just being over it.  I once told Andrew that if my diss became a person and knocked on my front door I would slam it in her face.  That’s right I became so crazy that my thesis gained a gender and legs to come visit me.  But this is when you muscle through it because giving up on all of those years you’ve invested is not an option.  Giving up would be a disservice to not only yourself, but to all those people who have helped you in the past and believe in you still.

It’s also tempting to use your bragging rights much too soon and in this instance I paraphrase Kristen Stewart.  She says that till you’re on set with those giant boom mics above you and you’re actually filming, you don’t talk too specifically about a future project.  Because here’s the truth, life is full of so many factors that you can’t account for.  So, until you are actually in the midst of it all why talk about it?  Hell, I don’t even want to talk about it sometimes when the job is done.

The truth of the matter of is that you only gain this type of perspective when you are finished.  So when things are not so pretty in the middle that’s when you keep working at it.  All that I have gained from my graduate degree from the intellectual development to being a resilient person would not have been acquired without all of the trouble.  You just don’t grow unless you’re a bit uncomfortable and challenged to be better.  Being in grad school taught me to be critical and not buy all of the ideology that society is trying to sell.  That in my opinion is worth everything.

It’s great to be back friends.  I’ll be seeing you.

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