Reflections Thesis


a great girl
Credit: flickr / cambiodefractal

To mark my 4 week anniversary in Kitchener, I didn’t have a party (as suggested by AY), I instead had a week long crisis. I think AY had the better idea…

It was a number of things. Moving. Change. The stress and difficulty of dealing with the appalling Goodlife (there’s some deep irony in that name). The clocks changed and I started waking up when it’s still dark, and having nowhere to go. Freaking out over my thesis. Two years in grad school, remarkably unworried about it (I’m told) and panic finally set in. I spent far too much time contemplating the webpage of a guy in graduate admissions at Carleton who suggested a couple of times – joking I’m sure – that I transfer. I was very close to emailing him and asking how joking was he.

I’m not panicking about writing my thesis. I’m panicking about what I do with it when I’ve written it. I have no idea – and frankly, I’m terrified of finding out.

The biggest thing, though, was some jackass being patronizing and disparaging of something I was concerned about. I’m told – by other engineers, who understand why I’m worried – that my concern is valid. It’s now being addressed through other means. However. This one person, ignoring my question, finally calling to “answer” it – only to try and make me feel stupid for asking it… threw me off completely. He didn’t make me feel stupid for asking it. He did make me furious, and start questioning some big decisions I’ve made lately. It resulted in me not exploring another option – not because I’m so happy of where I am and what I’m doing, but because I feel like it’s too late and if I’ve made a horrible mistake… I don’t need any more information about that to make me feel bad.

So I spent a lot of time in tears. And I kept getting up, feeling like I wasn’t ready to face the day yet, and napping on the couch until it was light. In the midst of this, my trainer annihilated my thighs to the point where I could barely walk for two days, so no gym.

Just me, completely overwhelmed by everything, wracked with indecision.

no one can hear you!
Credit: flickr / g-mikee

I’m reading Making Ideas Happen at the moment. And something in there struck me. Shipping. And I realized, that typically I ship things every day – blog posts, draft work, emails… and I’d stopped. Nothing had left me.

I booked into the spa for a mudwrap. But first, I read this huge paper (a warm up to being productive) and sent the email I’d been agonizing over. Then afterwards, I made myself ship some academic work in the form of a blogpost.

I still feel overwhelmed. I still napped again this morning. But then I finished a blogpost I’d been struggling to write. Now this one is flowing more. I have a plan for what I will work on later – and I’ll aim to ship a draft of a document I need to write.

And – I said no to my escape route, because I don’t want to run away. And the situation with the jackass will work itself out – someone else is taking it seriously, and now some circumstances have changed making it a different problem of known size.

Finally, I’m overwhelmed by grad school and the dreaded thesis. But, I think if I just keep shipping stuff towards that goal, day in, day out, it’ll be OK.

2 replies on “Shipping”

What will you do after your thesis is done? You’ll breathe. You’ll work. You’ll live. You’ll rock on. Even if you don’t know what kind of adventure you’ll have after you finish your thesis, it’s okay. It’ll come.

And yes, shipping is a great way to get back into the flow of things. Small successes build momentum.

Good luck!

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