Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thoughts along the way...

This week things are getting back to normal - whatever that is. I'm in a most bizarre state of mind lately... taking a break from school and not stressing about it; happy to just chill out and yet itching for new challenges; going from moments of doing a great deal of reflecting or just sitting happily with a book to wanting to get out and be extraordinarily social. The weird thing is that I feel like I'm watching it all with someone else's eyes.

I see a good deal of change going on around me - people moving, getting married, having babies or breaking up and yet, my own life is uncharacteristically stable and unusually peaceful at the moment. I feel like in past couple of months things have changed inside me that aren't necessarily visible from the outside. I am stronger and more centred, clearer about who I am and what things are important to me.

Quietly puttering along in these hot lazy days of summer, I find myself feeling rested... and happy.

This past school year was, when I look back on it, extraordinarily challenging... especially around Christmas when I was considering dropping out of the program and in a full meltdown of depression that was unparalleled in recent years. That all seems like a long time ago now.

It would have been out of character for me to quit, even though I didn't really feel very strong or sure at the time. But then came the thesis proposal and the exams... concurrent with intensive training to run the half marathon.

It's all done now... months and months of preparation... thesis proposal defended, exams successfully passed... half marathon completed.

Then came rest and recovery in the form of a holiday.

Now as I look back, I see where I've come from.

And I look forward to the next two challenges, each of them at times sure to be lonely and frustrating, at times enjoyable and even exhilarating, and most certainly long and gruelling ... the Ph.D. dissertation... and the full marathon.

It seems for me that these two journeys have become inextricably intertwined. The doctoral work is intellectually exciting and lets my mind grow in ways I'd never dreamed of before. The running gets me "out of my head" and keeps me sane. I'm deeply passionate about both of them and, truth be told, I profoundly enjoy the challenges they bring.

The mind and the body are both being taxed and pushed to new limits. As one develops, so the other grows stronger. I always wanted to do these things, but deep down, I was never really quite sure that I could.

Somehow, somewhere along the way this summer a little voice inside my head has said, "Well, of course you can."


craig said...

I'm pretty sure that the majority of doctoral students entertain the notion of dropping out at some time or another. I did. On more than one occasion.

Glad to hear that you are rested and that life is stable. Enjoy this good place you're in while it's here.

I wish you the best in accomplishing both goals.

Backofpack said...

"Well, of course you can."

Well said! And congratulations on a remarkable year, with another to follow.

ipodmomma said...

one of the things I have enjoyed about 'getting older' is the sense of perspective that the incredible rush of time gives. my life speeds along, but then I have an opportunity to look back at bigger chunks than previous.

and what I see amazes...

enjoy the end of the summer! sounds like you are in a good place in which to do so!

psbowe said...

If it was easy, everyone would it. And you are certainly have the determination and passion for it. I enjoy reading about your journey along the way. It's pretty damn awesome. :)

Jeremiah said...

The longer you live and the more you participate in life, the greater your potential, I say. Keep on truckin', as the kids say these days (wait, no they don't...ooops, another flashback...)

Sarah said...

Absolutely you can! Enjoy your accomplishments and best of luck for the challenges and adventures ahead! : )

Ron Hill's Alter Ego said...

Thanks for visiting my Blog - it's great to have a new colonial friend!

Enjoyed your Blog too - some interesting observations on your old Empire Makers back here in Blighty. Made the Half Share in the House chuckle - and that normally gets a medal!

Pop back and see what I've been up to.

Keep on tapering.


robtherunner said...

I am so happy that you made it through this past year quite successfully. There was never a doubt from any of us, but I know the feeling of utter despair and the wish for it all to be over with. My running is progressing nicely, but I need a break from school. I am done mentally even though there is still some work to be finished. I need the practical use of all the theory that I have learned, hopefully.

Madcap said...

Sarah, you're one of my lights as I think about going back to school and maintaining a physical, hands-on life as well.