Well, today is kind of important for me…a few hours ago I submitted my PhD thesis which began a little less than three years ago. And yes I know, the most important moment will come when I actually complete my viva and am actually AWARDED the damn thing 🙂 but still, it’s a milestone, and I’m going to celebrate.
When I first began, my supervisor told me that a PhD is a lonely undertaking, and in many ways it truly is. No classes, and no interaction with other people (other than your supervisor who becomes the most important person). Your most intimate companions become the countless books you come to know almost too well and in which you delve for months and months, until they become a part of you. And dramatic as this might sound, believe me, the final result, that is your thesis, finally becomes the most intimate and personal thing you’ve ever had or created. In this lifestyle that has become so ephemeral and so fast-paced in so many ways, can you think of anything that you have ever laboriously worked towards for three years? And when I say three years, I don’t mean sporadically for a period of three years, but on an almost exclusive daily basis for 36 months (or in my case 32).
For those who know me I like to think (‘like’ being the key word) that I’m not a show off. But having finally written, edited, re-edited, re-reedited, printed, bound, and submitted this 79,114-word piece of original work I must admit…I am proud. The academic ‘worth’ (or quality) of its content, which will of course be thoroughly read and scrutinized, will be determined in the course of the next few months, as will I during the painful and nerve-crumbling viva. But until then (or at least for the next few days) I will allow myself to gloat a little, and give myself some credit for having at least accomplished its completion. I think I’ve earned that much.
Having said that, I think the glow will start to brutally and unkindly wear off as I struggle (like so many others) to put this all-too-quickly-ripening fruit of my labor to good use…that is, find a job…the pot of gold at the end of this far-from-enchanting rainbow. But, fortunately (or unfortunately for some people) I may be a little too optimistic as a person and I go by the very wise Greek saying “οι καλοί ποτέ δεν χάνονται” (paraphrasing: the skilled ones always find a way/always make it) , and will continue to do so. I’m not, of course, implying that it will be easy, quick, or pleasant, but what worth having ever is? Too many cliches in too few sentences? Meh…who cares? (sidenote: meh is actually a proper word now, or trying to be)
Finally, I would like to close with a few words of gratitude owed to my family, my friends, and George, without whom I truly would not be here 🙂 And now, if you will excuse me, I still have three weeks of carefree existence to enjoy and take advantage of!