I suppose that it is only fitting, that after spending the last month or so obsessing over writing the single largest document I have ever written, that I am at a loss for words. And here it is – in a snapshot.
As I handed my thesis to my committee, I found myself experiencing a range of emotions and feelings, here are some of them:
1. Exhaustion. I was exhausted, both mentally and physically. After essentially being awake for 18-20 hours per day for the last month (including sleepless nights this weekend), my body officially hates me. Some people can function on very little sleep – unfortunately I am not one of them. For the first time in graduate school (strange right?) I depended on caffeine to keep me going.
2. Excitement. In the last few days, as I was writing my global discussion section and my abstract I really started getting excited about the prospect that I was almost done, but also that I have really crafted the last 5.5 years of work into a nice story. Or at least let’s hope my committee thinks so.
3. Fear. As I flipped through the pages one last time, I got a rush of fear that I had some major errors, or that I made too many mistakes to correct at the last minute. Eventually this specific fear abated, and a new one popped up. What if my exam goes poorly? Not that I really think that I’ll fail, but I suppose it is healthy to at least have a respect for the possibility right?
4. Relief. As with many major milestones in life, I dedicated a lot of time and energy into my thesis. Too much time to have a realistic estimate actually. I have said “No” to many social engagements, vacations, and bed times this past couple months. And for those times that I went to dinner, visited family, or slept at least half of my brain was still in thesis mode anyway. I am glad that will be coming to an end.
5. Gratitude. I am happy to be in the position I am in, but this feeling is more directed toward Chelsea. She has been extremely supportive of me, my lack of desire to cook or clean, my wish to stay awake for a few more hours, and my grumpy attitude for the past month. Thank you Chels!
And with that, I’ll leave you with a snapshot of one of my makeshift workspaces, along with one very helpful cat. I think it is time for some sleep.