Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the warm reception of the Acknowledgements. Since my doctoral thesis and this site are symbiotically aligned, my thanks truly belong on WP more than anywhere else.
As difficult as it is proving right now, I will look back at this time with great pride. The challenging issues that inspired the thesis have not subsided; in fact, they may have intensified during postpartum. But they have assumed a purpose, which gives the past a very different complexion.
During the last few years, I’ve lived an ascetic existence, with extremes of public and private, engagement and reclusiveness. Fear, loneliness and disappointment have been channelled into a unique and beautiful way of seeing and empathising.
Maybe I’ve been trying to bring an infamous enigma to life.
It’s been difficult to break out of this, though. Habits do have a tendency to hold tight. The thesis, after all, was a result of my character, rather than my character being a result of my thesis.
This week marks two years in Leicester, and my mind is consumed all over again by one of the most powerful and bittersweet episodes I’ve ever experienced. A crazy moment of misfortune blew apart a relationship opportunity with a fine lady who got married this week. I doubt I’ll even be a memory.
Am I meant to embrace the contribution that such sad moments have made towards a thesis characterised by loneliness and lonership? Or should I regret that I’ve martyred myself to become victimised and influenced by it all?
Cause and effect, together with the choice to succumb to memory or to forego it, involves a mixture of strength and weakness that proves too convoluted for me to understand.
As may be evident, the maelstrom that powered my doctoral thesis remains at full throttle. Unfortunately, without that goal to cling to, life has quickly become bereft of the very purpose that substantiated and excused it all.
Notwithstanding that, though, I particularly owe my custodial souls for the ability they granted me to balance (often dangerously) along the mental tightrope, knowing they would catch me if I fell.
How much that alone has contributed towards a thesis that has been personal, painful, protective and profound. However I wish to judge the mind that made it, the result could not have been without you. Batchelor of Honours; Doctor, it would be, of Others. Thank you.
Who Would Write?
Sadly, I’ve observed the growing proportion of visitors arriving at my work blog via searches for sites that publish guest material. It’s descending into a patchwork quilt of agencies writing for other agencies, all fulfilling quotas and manipulating to suit themselves. I shouldn’t care, but I do.
It’s not just life after the thesis that’s a problem. After working devoutly on such a meaningful project for years, it’s now a real challenge to find integrity and soul in writing. I cannot let it become a meaningless endeavour.
When I started journalling ten years ago, I hoped it would be a window to the soul – a way for others to understand the deeper side of me and to find a point of connection within themselves. It would be a way to share love, and perhaps even to find it.
The world has changed since then, but I’m not too sure that I’ve changed with it. I’m tarnished by the experience and far less idealistic at ground level. Once, dreams would take the wistfulness and transform it into something spellbinding. Now, it’s so different that I prefer not to see anything. Not long ago, during a disastrous night, I was delivered this verdict:
You’re a 1-out-of-10 person, when only 10-out-of-10 will do.
Given all the above, the context is probably evident. I will have to move mountains before I become worthy.
Where do I even start? Finding meaning is hard enough. Finding it and then trusting that it will be enough to see you through is harder still.
Is writing really the answer? Perhaps it is. Or perhaps it never was.