Wednesday, November 6, 2013

If I can Make it Through this, I Can do Anything


So here we are, smack dab in the middle of my busiest month of the year. And what do I go and do? Why, start another blog, that's what!

But not to fear, dear Readers. (It seems there's more than one of you now! How splendid!) I will not be neglecting this -- my first and most important blog. Would never do that. Blog #2 -- Inspirational Music for Writers -- is going to be more of a weekly endeavour while this blog will continue to be chatty and journaly and sometimes offer something of substance, if my brain tends that way.

In the meantime I wanted to share with you another one of the random wisdom nuggets that periodically come to me. In particular, I remember when I gave my Master's defense. At least with a master's defense -- at least in education at that particular institution -- the defense was closed door. Lucky for me it wasn't open door as Ph.D. defenses tend to be, since facing three professors: my thesis advisor and two others on my defense panel, was nearly enough for me to lose my lunch. It was after the term was over, and so I took a room at a hotel.

That morning my stomach was in complete turmoil. I can remember going down to the hotel restaurant and ordering just like a soup and a bun for lunch. I couldn't think of stomaching anything else. I was just that nervous.

The defense itself was a bit of a blur, to be honest. I had power point slides, I gave my presentation. I answered a barrage of questions and then I waited outside the room while they debated the decision. And then my advisor emerged from the classroom we had occupied and told me the news: I had done it! I had successful defended my Master's thesis and it was going to be published.

Afterwards, there was a fluffy of activity as I rushed around campus, tending to the last of the paperwork associated with taking my project from a thing on sheets of printer paper to an actual bound book that would be forever stored in the University's library. By the time I had time to sit down, it was on the train across Ontario that would carry me to my hometown. I felt exhausted, but strangely exhilarated. And as the train pulled into Union Station in Toronto, the site of what would be my next (mis)adventure, I looked up at that spike of a building called the CN Tower and I felt like I had really accomplished something. I had done something that not everyone gets to do in their lives and it made me feel as if I could do anything.

The day job plods on, as boring as ever. I wake up at 6 a.m. and have to find snippets of ten or fifteen minutes to actually work on my novel. But, you know, it's an important lesson for me to remember from time to time: the one big thing that I learnt from completing a Master's degree in Curriculum Studies. I have been tested by fire. Like the intellectual equivalent of walking over hot coals, if I can do that, I can do anything I set my mind to. Including making myself into a novelist.