Thursday 3 May 2012

Doctorin' the House - or, One Day, my PhD may come

I'm a student again. Well, sort of. I'm officially registered as an external student with the University of London's International Programme (Goldsmith's) which means that I basically have to teach myself a degree. I'm still writing and have planned it so I have plenty (or some, at least) time for both. Probably.

If only the vertigo would stop. The sudden stomach lurching knee-quaking moments where "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?" shoots through my cerebral cortex and flashes its hot pink knickers in my mind's flinching eye. After all, I have a fairly easy life, on the surface at least. If I simply wanted to read books for the rest of my life, I'm lucky enough to have a husband who would support me. As long as I'm happy. But I'm not happy, not really. Autonomy isn't mine. I don't run my life, I often feel like I'm simply an appendage to his. He's the best person I know but he has his life and I need to remember that I have mine. Coasting along, constantly asking myself why I feel so unfulfilled - it's hardly a question with a difficult answer - has become about as much fun as grating my bum cheeks.

I've been afraid for most of my life, or so it seems. In reaction to the fear, I've bedded down into the comfort of my marital security and nested there like a legless elephantine-gestating-bird. Or something. However, amidst all that apparent safety, I've become lost. I'm halfway to the witch's house and the birds have eaten my breadcrumbs (actually I probably ate them and that's why I have a tummy ache, just to make matters worse)

It's time, as they say, to do or die (figuratively speaking, natch) I'm in much better shape than I have been in years, both mentally and physically; I'm the same person but improved and souped up, still afraid but feeling it and doing it anyway. This is in no small part down to the fact that in the past year or so things have changed, things and people around me have opened my eyes. We have a cracking group of friends who have shaken me up a bit (whether they know it or not) They've blown the cobwebs out of my recumbent brain and have made me want to take charge of my life again. My dear friends on the much-maligned Facebook (a facility that has practically saved my life over the past few years) have also stimulated and inspired me (Matron) I'm lucky to know a lot of smart and interesting people, many with a lust for life or, at least, a lust for not pissing their's right up the wall. They've inspired me to stop skulking in the shadows like an embarrassingly cheesy ballbag and come out into the open, to not be afraid to realise what I want, to say it out loud, and to go after it. They've made me be myself again. I like it.

My dream is to get my PhD and enter the halls of academia. That path might be open to me, but if I fail or if I deviate, at least I've tried, at least I'm living. It's a cliché, perchance, but all clichés ooze truth. Living in a world of constant wondering (what if, what if) is a ball aching way to exist. It grinds you down and robs you of your zest. And everyone needs a little zest.


  1. Life needs purpose: it doesn't matter much what it is, just that you feel a passionate need to accomplish your dreams. It's the pursuit that feeds us. Much joy to you on the journey. I look forward to your difficulties, challenges and eventual triumphs.

  2. Thank you, Prof. I'm finally ready to wholeheartedly enjoy myself at this Life business. No more ballbaggery!