Thursday, 25 February 2010

Thursday Afternoons

I have been craving regularity, routine, evenings to myself without the constant nagging of reading, essays and study. For the first time in my 18 years of education, I've felt that I am ready to stop learning in the academic sense, and start using what I've learned to contribute in some way to the world around me. I've been almost scared of this sudden change of heart; as if suddenly I have found myself on the wrong path, and not knowing whether to continue on my way and see this through, or to turn around and admit defeat.

But here I sit, in my comfy pyjama bottoms, eating a huge bowl of yogurt and listening to a melodramatic play on Radio 4. It's 2:30 on a Thursday afternoon.

This morning I dragged myself to campus for a 9:15 seminar, aching and bleary-eyed. I then sat with 3 academics, discussing the ins and outs of cognitive development, linguistic performance, and the relationship between the two. We laughed, we heard stories of my professor's grandchildren, we drank tea, we talked about an up-coming weekend conference in the Peak District.

I think I'll stick to the direction I'm headed for now. A salary, leisurely evenings and reading for pleasure are all exciting temptations of the real working world, but for now my time is my own, my workwear is sometimes the same as my bedwear, and I have free-reign of the radio station. I'm sure that these commonplace aspects of my life will one day seem like distant, frivolous treats of my student days, while the organic tomatoes in my sandwich and the prospect of an evening spent with a good book will pass me by unnoticed.


  1. PJ's for work gear sound good to me, I wonder what they would say at the office tomorrow!
    I was listening to the same play and really enjoyed it.
    Lisa x

  2. Definitely keep hold of what you have. I'm six months into post-post-graduate life and hating it. I have less money, less time and less energy. I would give anything to go back to chatting with academics and working from home, don't wish routine in to your, it'll come all too quickly!

  3. Thanks Rebecca, some helpful words there. It's all too easy to wish life away impatiently; we're always made to believe that we're working towards something, an end-point which will lead to inevitable happiness. Maybe the secret to happiness is to enjoy the journey you're on, and move forward with appreciation for the present and the lessons it is giving us.

    I hope you find your niche in which to thrive soon. The one good thing about not enjoying what you do (as oppose to finding it ok and complacently carrying on in a dull blur) is that it at least spurrs you towards your dreams - if you have a spare 20 minutes I highly recommend JK Rowling's Harvard Commencement speech on YouTube (I hate YouTube, but this was incredibly inspiring and I got through the whole 20 minutes totally absorbed ;-) ) - inspiring stuff!