Enjoying freedom … ?

Its not been as long as I thought since my last blog post, but it has been a little while.  It feels like such a long time ago that I was worrying about the last essay.  I have taken the opportunity, since my study stopped for the year, to cram as much other stuff in to my life as I can without inducing mental collapse.  Work has been manic and stressful for various reasons and I have devoted myself more fully to it.  I have found time for reading that is unrelated to my MA and I have also devoted more time to baking, which is one of my other great passions.  I have found time to catch up with all of my friends, including a school friend who I hadn’t seen for 10 years. I have also started driving lessons which brings a completely different set of challenges.  I visited my Mum for the weekend last week and finally I found the time to think and reflect!  I thought that when I stopped studying I would automatically have/find more time for more deeply personal contemplation, but I am starting to think that what I was craving was, in fact, action and less contemplation.  It is only now, a few months later that I can feel an urge to sit and think in that way again.  Studying places a huge demand on my reflective and contemplative capabilities.  I think I have underestimated this over the last year or so.

I am looking forward to the Autumn term and studying a new module.  I think I want to take a course on aesthetics next term.  I need to review my option choices, in fact.  Being half way through a part time Masters, however, has not stopped me from thinking about what I want to study next.  In fairness, my next move will be much more bound up with a career choice.  The MA Literature and Philosophy I am currently studying is an indulgence (an odd kind of ‘indulgence’ that provokes and torments me granted, but it is one nonetheless), the subject is something that draws me and has done for a long time. I am so glad I have had the opportunity to take the programme of study.  I am even looking forward to writing my dissertation next summer, even though I am simultaneously terrified of attempting to do so.

In thinking about my career, however, I have decided I probably want to try and learn a little more about computing, the internet and programming.  It just so happens that a friend suggested a part time informatics based Masters course that you can take as part of a two year programme with amex.  Suddenly I could see the possibilities and it all seemed very exciting.  I was then reflecting on this tendency of mind to plunge myself headlong in to, well … everything!  A year ago my life seemed a little empty.  I was enjoying freedom and living a life that (for various, complicated reasons) I had only recently taken full responsibility for.  The freedom, however, was a little intimidating.  I had a lot of time and I didn’t quite know how to fill all of it.  I invested in friendships (both new and old) and in figuring myself out, both of which have proved invaluable.  After seeking a secondment at work that didn’t come about, I made the decision to apply to study an MA.  This I duly did and was accepted on the programme and from October that absorbed much of my free time.  As the year has gone I have also devoted time to visiting my family, who all live at least 2 hours away from me.   Also my social life has continued to expand and diversify.

A year on, even while enjoying a break from my study I rarely find myself thinking that I have enough time!  It is only sitting in bed this morning, safe in the knowledge that I have a whole week off work next week, that I really feel I have enough time to stop and stare.  Even then, only yesterday I was contemplating the next move for study/career after I finish this MA (I have a whole year yet), as I touched on above.  I have some ‘spare time’ and I immediatley find myself wondering how best I can use it, what things that I keep on forgetting/not finding time for can I get done in the sparkling opportunity of ‘unspoken for’ time?  After much internal debate and realising just how utterly exhausted I was yesterday evening, I have promised myself a quiet, restful day today.  It takes a lot of arguing with myself before I grant myself one of those.  I was originally planning an early trip to the carboot sale in town, a long walk in the countryside, perhaps some baking and …

While I undoutedly do need some time for rest and lazing, I am coming to the conclusion that my desire for freedom is not directed towards freedom from everything.  I want freedom to choose, to choose what I think about, how I spend my time and energies and how much I take on.  When I find myself with more freedom, either because a task is completed or because a weight is lifted from my mind, it is not very long at all before I am searching for the next thing to occupy the relinquished mental space.  I have become quite accomplished at finding the next thing.  What I REALLY need to work on is developing the wisdom to know when (physically and mentally) I really do need a break.