It is time to let go.
But not so fast,
how does it happen,
the letting go?
I’ve been working
on this dissertation
for two years,
my PhD for almost four.
And my body,
my psyche are
all telling me to
get it done and send it out.
It’s a rainy, “froggy” day on the farm, as my partner and I like to say. Although I haven’t been outside yet, well, that’s not entirely true. I walked into the garden to empty the composte bucket and then over to my office to fetch my laptop and bring it back to the loft. And here I sit in front of a dwindling fire that I better feed now or else it’ll go out and need a complete relighting. There, the fire’s ablazing and I nabbed a piece of chocolate, two actually, on my way back!
I wanted to be here for a little while before reimmersing in the last three days of thesis writing before sending it off to my committee. I am so excited with the results of this lengthy, effortful process. I have been realizing how much it has offered me, by pushing me past limits I almost didn’t know I had with regards to my writing.
I have had to keep digging in, to keep paying attention, to keep coming back to the words even when it was the last thing I wanted to do. How much I have wanted to run from them. I’m not sure why. It just seemed easier. This sticking with it has been both exhausting and exhilarating. I have learned so much about myself and how I fear my voice, how I worry what others will think, and especially about my belief that I don’t have the right things to say. And then there are all the minute decisions that need to be made.
When I was in my early twenties, I visited New York City for a few days and stayed at a cousin’s apartment in the Upper West Side. I was alone most days, loved bopping around the city, perusing the shops and wondering at all the people. At one point, I was in a department store, one of the big ones in the city, I don’t remember which, and the sales clerk behind the counter (was it perfume or jewelery?) asked me my preference for something. I told her that I had the hardest times making decisions, something I had started to notice about myself back then. She suggested that it was actually a condition, called “decidophobia”, and admitted that she had it too. We both cracked up, and I felt more sane than I had when I first walked into the store. It’s an amazing feeling when we learn that who we are, our hang-ups and quirks, is more universal than we imagined.
So how does this story relate to the farm, or to my thesis predicament, the one where I am having to make some final decisions and then send the whole thing off at the beginning of next week?
Well, I don’t have decidophobia any more. The decisions may be hard and they may be many, but I trust myself to make them. Yeah, that’s it. I have been learning to trust myself through this thesis process. I have had to meet myself on the page day after day, and unless I wanted to quit, which I didn’t, I had no choice but to keep moving back in, looking more and more closely at my work, taking responsibility for what I am saying and how. That feels so good.
Now don’t get me wrong, those times of break, when I eat lunch or go for a walk, they are heaven, and like this morning’s meditation, I wish I could stay in them longer. But as soon as I plunge back in I find myself in familiar and quite likable territory, even lovable. Which makes sense, since I am writing about a journey of love.
So here I am at such a juncture. I have given this some time, taken a pause from the writing, and especially the decision making, and now it is time to dive back in. I just took a deep breath.
Fortunately I don’t have to hold it in. I need to let it, along with my thesis, go.