I’ve gone back to my studies. It’s official.
I don’t feel as bad about it as I thought though, so I suppose time does heal wounds. At the start of the year I was hurt, that’s for sure, and I was so set on giving up. It’s the joy of long term study where there’s always something due but you never seem finished, no matter how hard you try to complete it. It didn’t help that I was suffering from a lot of (what I now know was) hormone induced anxiety issues. Add to the mix a less than sympathetic supervisor and two months in bed for morning sickness and it’s obvious I needed time off. I didn’t ever envision myself returning. But here I am, back.
I’ve been reading, taking Roslyn to the library stocking up on books, lugging them home and reading as she naps. A baby in one arm and a pen in the other, juggling paper and holding pages open with tired fingers. I’m easing back in. I started to write yesterday too, not much, a paragraph or two but something. I need to feel comfortable again, I’m treading water in the safety of the shallow end for now.
It didn’t take long for me to be a little less obstinate about going back. A few weeks rest and I felt that maybe there would be a possibility. I bought frames a while back for my degrees. My honours in one, the masters in the other. I had bought one more for the phd. I remember putting it out thinking to fill it with something else as it would never hold a document declaring me a doctor of philosophy. But now I hope it will again. I will be honest, I’d rather not be back, but I’m trying to embrace it. I keep thinking I need to be positive. I tell myself I’m doing it for sandy and Roslyn. Without my phd I wouldn’t have them, and as much as having them has been part of the reason I’ve gone off course, I’ve been blessed in being able to be at home with them this much, and I wouldn’t change that. Every time I feel scared I tell myself to work through it for them. Perhaps I will be able to afford a job that’s part time afterwards, which I wouldn’t with fewer qualifications, surely? People keep asking what I will do with my phd, what job I will get, and I don’t know. I mumble something about libraries or colleges and try to move past it. All I know is I need to get this thing done and move on. So keep me strong, will you?
Hopefully next summer I will have a photo on my wall of me in a pale blue robe with my family around me. Roslyn will be walking. I keep thinking of that, and hoping it will all be okay.