Yup, I have actually submitted my dissertation and finished the masters. I can hardly believe it. I feel as if I have been run over. I am that tired, achey, disorientated and generally battered and bruised. I have not been sleeping properly for three weeks. I have been so keyed up about finishing that I have not been able to get to sleep and have been getting up way before my alarm goes off in the morning. On two nights this week I got only three hours sleep. Factor that in to having to work a 37 hour week and I am well beyond shattered. However, I submitted three copies of my dissertation yesterday morning and last night I had the best night’s sleep I have had in weeks. I am still exhausted, but now its Friday and I have finished work for the week I can relax and have some fun over the weekend. Fun? Can I still remember what that is?
Wow. I have produced and written a piece of original research, one that I am really pleased with and I have really enjoyed working on it and especially the writing of it. The writing has been the most fun bit. I have met so many intelligent and creative people and this in particular has been an absolute joy. I have found my interest and my voice in the field and that is also a truely wonderful thing to have done. Is this getting nauseating yet? Can I express just how truely amazing the experience of studying for and completing this MA has been? Perhaps not but I am going to try. When people ask me about my research I can hear myself talking to them with a confidence that I never thought possible. Not only do I talk, but they seem to listen and to respond. In other words, not only do I have somethiong to say and the confidence to say it, but other people seem to understand me when I talk about my research. They don’t laugh, not even a snigger. Two years ago I could not even have imagined what that would feel like.
Apart from all the people I met through the University (that is, all the other students whose diversity of viewpoints brought an incredible richness to our teaching seminars and the academic staff whose enthusiasm and encouragement has been so infectious) I also contrived to meet with two local fiction writers. I had met them both before, briefly, and I wanted the excuse to talk with them both about writing and to get to know them on a more personal level. It was like a brush with celebrity for me and I was terribly nervous before meeting with both of them. (“You mean I am meeting with real writers, really? And I get to ask them questions and present myself as an intelligent person? Am I sure this is real?”) Can you imagine my jaw dropping surprise when both of them said that they wanted to meet again, to learn a bit more about me? I, honestly, could hardly believe it. Me? What could possibly be interesting about me? I have since met with the delightful James Burt twice and I have made plans to meet up with the lovely Kay Sexton tommorrow morning. And I have engaged in fascinating, stimulating conversation with both. WHAT?? Is this my life?
The thing is, my life has changed beyond all recognition. It was two years ago I started the study and so much has happened since then. So much has happened that I really need some time to digest and reflect on it. Which is exactly what I am going to do. Once I have done a great deal of sleeping.