One out of Ten

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the warm reception of the Acknowledgements from the doctoral dissertation I recently submitted.


Since my doctoral thesis and this site are so closely aligned, my thanks belong here more than anywhere else.

As difficult as it is proving right now, I will look back at this time with great pride. I’ve made it to the end of a big challenge.

The personal issues that inspired the dissertation 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.

Create Darkness to Find Light

It’s been difficult to break out of this, though. The dissertation, 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 experienced. A crazy moment of misfortune blew apart a relationship opportunity with a fine lady who got married this week. I won’t 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. 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?

It’s with particular frustration that I’ve observed the growing proportion of visitors arriving at my work blog via searches for sites that publish guest material.

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.

1 Out of 10

The world has changed since then, but I doubt I’ve changed with it.

Once, dreams would take the wistfulness and transform it into something spellbinding.

Now, it’s so different. Not long ago, during a disastrous date, I was delivered this verdict:

You’re a 1-out-of-10 person, when only 10-out-of-10 will do.

I will have to move mountains before I become worthy. And 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.

One thought on “One out of Ten

  1. Part of me wonders what would have happened if you had only posted the first five words of this piece.

    It’s said that the number zero was invented by Tawarik Makutin, an Arab mathematician. He was blind and, according to some sources, referred to zero as “the nothingness that I see, encircled by a line”.

    Sometimes in life, it feels that one is adjacent to an awful void, so close that it is like a familiar companion (or lack of such). ‘What pains the most ~ I walk along, stare into an abyss out there, and think: “I’m alive… Had I forgotten that I’m alive!?’ It becomes bitingly difficult for one to stay standing – like the digit one – beside this emptiness, and also to articulate it and thereby to go some small way towards taming it. Yet in your blog, time after time, I have seen it done. You accomplish that encirclement. The void becomes 0, and you stand next to it as 1. You are the 1 out of 10, and I dearly would not want you to perceive that as anything other than fundamentally positive.

    Ten is not necessarily the maximum anyway, nor the ultimate destination. Never too thrilled with the Tenth Doctor, I was ready when the strains of ‘Vale Decem’ rang out and 10 became 11. I am duly looking forward to your eleventh year of blogging, of writing, because ten have left me wanting more of it. Wishing you Peace and Harmony. And tennis-speak for zero.

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