As you’ll be reading this I will shaking in my boots about to be put through the torture of a Statistics examination as part of my Masters qualification. Maths isn’t my strong suit, but I’m hoping with intense study and burying my head in books, that is set to change. After all, what is life without challenge and pushing your brain to the limits every now and then? It’s what makes it all a little less tedious and boring.
This week marks the final one for my studies at postgraduate level. I began this journey back in September 2016 and tried my hardest to balance intense full-time study commitments with caring for my Dad who was deteriorating with lung disease. Unfortunately, he passed away near the end of the academic year and with thanks to the support from the team at Sheffield Hallam University, I was able to take the necessary time to focus on grieving and moving from full time carer, back into whoever I am now. It’s something I’m still trying to ascertain. As Cathy Rentzenbrink perfectly put it in a Manual for Heartache, it’s like slicing paper in half and you’re stuck on the blank side trying to feel your way forward into the unknown.
Since New Year I’ve been reflecting but also looking ahead to what I want my five-year goal to be. You know, the one where you try to picture yourself ahead in time and motivate yourself to get to that point? For a while this was difficult to imagine, it was a life without Dad and it was a life that was hopeless and alien to me. Now with the passage of time, I’m starting to see the light and I’m beginning to aspire to the person I want to be, and the person I want my Dad to be proud of.
I sat and watched the daffodils bloom in the vase, the vibrant colours of the tulips brought that all familiar feeling of prospect and expectation that Spring brings along with it. It’s no wonder these flowers are my favourite as it’s a new beginning, an exciting glance into the near future where the light is returning and the sun is shining brighter than before. I doubt there is no feeling better than the one where your heart is beginning to mend and your smile feels close to genuine.
So, five years from now. Who do I want to be? I want to be healthier, lighter, ambitious, passionate, knowledgeable, hopeful, positive, motivated and active. I want to give back to the community that built me and support those who are seeing the darkest days like I have done. I want to have completed my PhD and be knee deep in journals pursuing my career in academics and research. I want to be financially independent and have enough savings to be looking at buying a property. I want to have travelled, to have immersed myself in our History and to have felt the warmth of a Hawaiian sunset on a surfboard, the crisp golden colours of New England and the snowy winter festive spirit of New York. I want to have written. I don’t care how, but I want to have written my own words. The last one is important as it was a promise to Dad.
Who knows if any of that will happen. Maybe in a day, a week or a month, things will change and my ambitions will totally change. Life is no set sail voyage, but surely, it’s better to become focussed than to drift into the wind and become lost in a world you feel isolated from. I guess, I’m learning that the only way to become found is by placing your gravel in a wheelbarrow and setting ahead the path of the person you want to become. More importantly, I want to do Dad proud. I want to live the memories he was denied and I want to feel my way into the new person that I have always aspired to be. Someone who is ultimately happy.