Tomorrow I’m meeting with the graduate college to present a reading copy of my thesis. A week from tomorrow I meet with my committee to defend my thesis. I’m not sure what to expect in either scenario, but it boils down to this: I wrote a thesis and on May 3, pass or fail, this six year endeavor is over.

That’s right. It took me six years to complete graduate school. One year longer than my undergrad took to complete. Um, sometimes I’m ashamed that it has taken so long. On the flip side, I’m proud of myself for persevering, especially when I reflect on the tears, angst, frustration and uncertainty that marred the process. In the end, even if I fail the defense, in my mind I will have successfully completed the process, because I created an original piece of scholarly work. I can live with that.

This process, which has been rather intense over the last 6 months, has left me feeling a bit like this: I’m looking forward to completing the process and gaining some time for myself and my interests, which have been put on hold temporarily.

Last night, R asked me what I was going to do with myself when I am done with school. I rattled on for several minutes about all the things I want to try and do. When I was done, he laughed and said, “that’s like 30 things!”

“I know,” I said. “It’s going to take me the rest of the year to do it all!”

In reality, it’s going to take the rest of my life to do it all. Because that’s the nature of life; you’re never done (until you’re dead) and obstacles and the unexpected abound.

As I’ve gotten closer to the reality of finishing school, the excitement has nearly overtaken me several times. I’ve had to remind myself that I’m not there…yet. I have to focus and maintain this momentum for a little longer.

It’s been hard for me to maintain the necessary level of commitment to finish this project. I mean, let’s face it, it wouldn’t have taken six years otherwise. In fact, I’ve done a lot of unrelated things when many would have recommended focusing on school.

I went to India. I got married. I went to Thailand. I completed my 200 hr. yoga teaching certification. And, if I’m totally honest, I did a lot of goofing off. All worthy endeavors if you ask me but not exactly topical.

Graduate school and writing a thesis have been the biggest intellectual undertakings of my life. Some would likely scoff at my thesis topic, and that’s okay.  As my dad used to say, “That’s why they make chocolate ice cream.”

To each their own.

Live and let live.

I’ve learned so much in the last six years (never mind the last 31!). Not just about journalism, the media or cultural studies, but about myself and the art of living life, which I think is a little like this:

Thanks to my talented and wonderful friend JKB Newberry for this photo.

Even when well executed, there are variables in life beyond our control. Like the wind blowing your mat into your face while attempting a fairly complex pose. We could’ve taken the shot again facing the other direction, but I think this imperfect image is more…well, perfect.

What the hell is this post about? Eh, I’m not so sure, but I think it’s something like this. If you’re going to do it, do it. Whatever it is. It likely won’t be perfect. You might succeed. You might fail. Either way, you tried and that you can be proud of.