Grad School Diary: The Thesis

It amuses me now that one of the last things I did in college was to write a paper on the ridiculousness of the notion of God. How could rational beings believe that there is God? Look at this world! There seem better men than this God we are forced to 'create' and feed our miseries to. But here I am writing my thesis on God as the true definition of love, from the vantage point that we did not create God, (S)he created us. Weird, yes? Well, what is the point of reason if one cannot use it to seek the truth which is everywhere? It is rather obvious that what we call evil is minuscule in comparison to that which we declare to be good; we know evil only because we are often encircled in good; and for many of us, there are more days of beauty than ugliness, hence some are impatient when ill while others use the circumstance to be grateful for the abundant days of awesome health. But the purpose of this post is not to talk about God. Although it is beginning to feel like every sentence one utters is directly or indirectly about God.

See, the thing is, this thesis thing, it feels real. Like it is a sort of message. There are so many thoughts/fears that I have struggled with for years, that I only wanted to interpret in a single way: the 'logical' way. But I am facing a couple of them through Julian of Norwich, the woman is awesome...and so is my advisor. And I know it is time to stop fighting, to allow myself to see and accept the truth. It interests me that she got these revelations when she was thirty and I am getting them, through her, as I approach my thirtieth year. I know my thesis is changing me, I can already see its influence on my thinking.

On the writing side I am gaining some discipline which I hope I can transfer to my creative writing. I have been writing almost daily; although some days I try and try and nothing happens, and some days I write like...oh someone woke up lucky today, ha! then I go back to re-read what I thought was a brilliant theory only to find that it is absolute rubbish. Man! The joy of suffering. But I am almost done now. Just need to revise like a million times.

One of the most beautiful part of the process has been my relationship with the commitment. I wake up at odd hours to write, even though it was not the plan. I am always asking, how is it going? I have given myself deadlines and I celebrate when I make them. There have been days when I just did not want to write but I would  say to myself: just this one sentence, and one more sentence, and just one more, I promise! Then when I could not go on anymore I would make the declaration: No more! you liar!

The funny thing is I cannot seem to write in just one place. I write at my desk, on the floor, on my bed, and other places but never outside the house. I keep feeling the need to change where I settle to write, inside. Another thing of interest is when I realized the paper's deadline was not so far away, I panicked and started over! Imagine that. I too asked, what is wrong with me? But it turned out my intuition is alright. It turned out I did not know what was going on in my original version. But, of course, I was going crazy the whole time. I was weighed down by stressful thoughts like what if I do not get the paper together in time? What if I do not graduate? Then gradually I came to the realization that these fears are not important. What is important is that I give the moment the best I can, and I will go where things go, and make decisions based on those circumstances when the time comes. Like Julian says, "all shall be well." And that is one phrase that has always proved itself true in my life, no matter what happens, things always end beautifully well.

One more thing: the other time I caught myself feeling very tired and sleep deprived because I had been writing all day and it sort of dawned on me that soon I will forget all of these things that I am feeling in relation to my thesis, although the feelings may be present in my life in relation to other things which I cannot now fantom, soon they will all pass. Just like many significant moments in my life have. Soon it will all be a reference point, something that I might remember when I find a copy of A Revelation of Love tucked somewhere, or smell strongly brewed earl gray, or... I will remember this beautiful time in my life; the luxury of writing a freaking thesis on a life altering topic. Let's just say I have been feeling pretty lucky these past few months.

One last thing, a little while back I woke up around dawn, and thought that I smelled smoke and for a few seconds I lay there thinking I cannot die yet, I have got to finish my thesis! How absurd is that?!

-
jane

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