Wednesday, 1 October 2014


Tis the anniversary of The End. I am now one year on from the finishing of the thesis. I am cheering for everyone who is submitting their PhD, or who has done so in the last few days.

Today I am working from home. I have a scented candle lit in front of me (recommended by a useful motivational blogger as a pretty thing to have on your desk, to make your work space/ office 'more appealing', and therefore more likely to inspire you to work). I have a cup of tea. I have projects and plans, and ideas and books to read.

I'm still the same as I always was, mind you, I still procrastinate, waste time, wonder sometimes where the day has gone. I still haven't made my six-figure salary (damn) and I still contemplate going off to sing in the street to make some extra money. But I'm much happier. Finishing the PhD has served to make me start taking care of myself, to start treating myself a lot more nicely. I no longer do any of that beating-myself-up stuff that I used to do ('I'm not good enough/ I can't do it/ It doesn't matter what I do, I'll never get there/ This is too hard/ Why do I always do everything wrong?'/ etc etc etc). I don't do that anymore.

It's interesting, too, how I've been reacting differently every time there's a spanner in the works, or a brick wall in front of me. Instead of throwing my arms up in the air and going 'Oh well, too hard', or 'Waaaah! Why can't I have what I want? Why is life so unfair?...', instead I've surprised myself by thinking 'OK, so I can't have it my way. So this means, if I want it, I'm going to have to do it another way. So first I have to do XYZ... And I'm perfectly capable of doing XYZ. Let's do it.'

'I get the feeling that for you, this wasn't so much about getting a PhD', a friend said this summer,'as it was about sorting your head out and working on YOURSELF. YOU were the thing that you had to work on so hard!' And we drank to my success in working on me.

The thing is, I don't mean to brag, but I've noticed some changes. You read enough self-help books, I guess that stuff eventually gets to you. There hasn't been that much of a change noticeable to the outside world as yet. But occasionally, just occasionally, I say I'll do something and then I actually do it. Instead of procrastinating on it for months, and then forgetting it was ever meant to happen, and then wondering why my life is not going anywhere, I've started to make things happen for myself. I've started to notice that the people who get things done in this world are not necessarily the best people at doing those things. They're just the ones who decided to get into action - and they stayed in action. The other day, the Lover noticed this new propensity for actually doing what I say I want to do. He says he finds the new me a bit 'scary'.

'You know, it's actually frightening to think how far you could go, if you really decided to go for what you want to do', he said the other day.

Quotes of the day (from my favourite self-help books, of course) :

'What would you do with your life if you found that you have only six months to live?'


'What would you do if you were very bold, and you knew that you couldn't possibly fail at anything you try?'...


  1. Thank you for this post! So true...we often need to change our perspective and not let the "imposter syndrome" take hold of us. I like the two quotes at the end as introspective starting points from which we can try to change our perspective on various tasks and life in general so that we can start to take action, step by step. Also, your post is very encouraging to those of us who are in the "ABD" stage especially!

    1. hey there!... thanks for posting, hope all is going well for you!