I never, in my relief that my exams were over, even shared that I passed. What a momentous moment of life that felt like! I am ABD, one step closer to the holy grail of being a PhD and while it felt like the culmination of so much, the day came and went rather unceremoniously. The celebration was me cleaning up the snacks I had brought and sitting in satisfaction in my gorgeous business suit knowing in my heart and mind I had achieved something. I also had a defense of my prospectus where I was provided guidelines for revision, a revision I look forward to making. A revision that seems like a gift, a chance to be better, a chance to grow, and a chance to enjoy the process of creating something.
It’s interesting when you achieve something we spend very little time reveling in that moment. We go immediately to what’s next and what that will lead to. One journey inevitably leads to another, right?
Well it does and it doesn’t. We inhabit our journeys just as we inhabit our homes. We are here now. We are a part of this now. Our life is now. So often people approach me and ask me what I study and what is important about it. Inevitably they always ask, “What can you do with that?” or “What will you do with that?” or “Where do you hope this takes you?”
Well deary, I hope it takes me a great many places but I am leaving that door open. Where can it take me? Well, it has brought me here. Here in a space where I can learn, teach and explore. Here in a space where I can choose a path and cultivate success. Here. It has brought me here and I am working hard for a future but I am also working hard for now. For the love of the work. For the moment. I’m not worried where it takes me because I have been given a chance to learn and cultivate and that will undoubtedly lead to success. Follow your bliss, the rest will come… Or so they say.
I suppose it is not that different from health. You struggle along and ultimately sure, you want to get better, to heal, to be cured. But if there is no cure? Then you strive to feel good, to manage pain, to find balance. Those are just as admirable as recovery. It’s like the time I was starting to feel better, starting to shift from a mentality of pain, a dominating and crushing system of pain and I hit my head. The physical caused the mental to regress, to step back, to shell up in fear. The pain caused the fear and the fear exascerbated the pain. And I spent a brief moment thinking, why can I never just get better, when will this be over? Its not supposed to be over, it just doesn’t work that way, so I realized, instead of waiting for the miraculous disappearance of Herbert and a complete reversal of pain, I should recognize what I can learn from the pain and be a responsible patient and manage my health. I can’t cure what I have just like I cannot change or predict what others will think or do, but I can control myself. I can control my reaction, I can control my actions. I can be here, I can be present, I can be now. I can inhabit a nebulous space, because what person doesn’t?
I was told by my professor I needed to revise my prospectus, to recognize and identify what I am studying and why, and to articulate that more clearly. It is under revision. In my life I am revising my ideas, recognizing the limitations and boundaries of who I am and deciding which of those limitations it serves me to push beyond and which of those simply do not serve me any longer. I am under revision. I am under revision and I revel in this space. It is not a chore, or a burden because if we’ve got nothing else to change what do we strive for? If we reach that finish line what becomes of us? I am under revision, constantly changing, growing, healing, regressing, pushing, moving, hoping, trying.
Each time I go to to gym and become the woman I used to judgingly chastise for “just using the elliptical” by the fact that I am just using the elliptical and not doing something harder on my body I have to stop and recognize that on my path, I am trying. I am trying and that is the best I can do, and really, it’s pretty damn good. I am trying. I am trying hard. Some days I push and see the bad ass in me come out and other times I see that the badass in me never left, she just doesn’t like to be bounced around as much as before.
I’m trying in school, I’m trying in health, I’m trying in relationships, I’m trying in life. And, by all accounts I am succeeding, but that is not what is most important. I am trying and I am under revision and here and now, that is where I am, and I like where I am, and it’s ok.
Peace and love,