I’ve finally done it!
I have finally sent off my application for postgraduate study.
It probably shouldn’t have been a big deal but a lot of indecision was involved. I wasn’t sure whether I could handle going back to university. I wasn’t sure what pressures it would put on my mental health, and by extension my marriage. I wasn’t sure about the financial pressures, whether I could keep up with my job whilst studying and the impact that would have on paying off the mortgage and starting a family. I wasn’t sure what would happen when that hoped for family got started. What benefit would the extra degree be if I didn’t pursue a career in academia? What if I was a stay-at-home-mum or remained in my current job (which I greatly enjoy)? Would it be a waste of time and money? Would it be ‘worth it’?
I couldn’t even make up my mind what ‘worth it’ boiled down to. I have a very specific reason for applying for the degree course, to continue researching the building I studied for my undergraduate dissertation. I needed to choose an extract of that dissertation to include in the application, another thing that made it difficult. My depression started during the final year of my undergraduate degree and my dissertation is one of the main triggers for it.
In the end what helped me push through all the doubting and anxiety was a book entitled Women Food and God by Geneen Roth. The book focuses on eating disorders but at its core is an examination of compulsive behaviour and personal values. My initial inclination for reading it was because it offered a different perspective on exploring spirituality. But it has prompted some musings which I hope to write about. I think that writing the blog helped me complete the application. The exercise in writing that this project originated as seems to have paid off. I haven’t worked on my book at all but it seems to have assisted me in articulating my thoughts.