23 August 2012

Beginning to say goodbye

My corner desk at the OU is just about the safest place I have in the world, but now it's time to start saying goodbye. Today is 23 August. I got comments on my literature review from my supervisor, the last uncharted territory in the thesis. I had been working on it, but my supervision team hadn't seen most of it or any of it put together. The comments came back positive though: large parts are reading well. Today, I send the second draft of the discussion chapter and then, in the afternoon, begin working on the comments on the literature review which I started yesterday. I will get those done by the end of the day, I hope. Or close to being done. That leaves tomorrow until a week from next Monday (3 September) to clean up the whole of the thesis and make sure there are no glaring omissions before I send it in to my supervisors. 

And then? Well, 4 September I will not come into work, most likely. I will need to wait until the comments come back from my supervisors (due 17 September). When I get those comments, I will work on them for about ten days and then, if everything is okay, submit on 28 September. At this point, submission before the end of my funding looks more likely than it has all summer. 

But all I will have between sending the draft to my supervisors and their comments is an article I owe to an online magazine. Both Naomi and Mei will start school during that time, so I will be able to be completely engaged in that. I can finally get my bike fixed. Hopefully I'll have at least one job interview. I can go to Starbucks with Yoko in the morning. 

I am also applying for jobs and it could all happen very quickly, particularly if I start work anywhere but the UK (seeing as I won't have to wait the 4–14 weeks for the UKBA to approve my application). In a couple of weeks, everything will likely change, sometime between now and December. 

All that to say, my time at my corner desk is limited. Very limited. So I have begun the inevitable, opening the drawers and going through the things I have: what to bin, what to save. Starting to take down photos and postcards from my wall. Bin articles I thought I needed. Bin old drafts of chapters (god, how did I think this was anything worth reading?). Bin or take home all the implements of my dieting from the last two years. Not weighing my food any more is a success, evidence of something I learned. I don't have to follow my food intake meticulously on Calorie Count: I know how much I've eaten and how many kilocalories are in whatever I just ate.

Ending this period in my life the way that it appears to be ending has been good. I am feeling less like I have failed and more like I may have, in a limited way, said something new with my research. My family is stronger than when we started, something that was certainly not a given. I still don't have a job, but that will come in time. I'm feeling healthy, less obsessive. 

There's still a long way to go, but the end is in sight. I can see the end now.