On the left we have my view for the last 12,812,810,947,857 days; computer screen showing painfully slow PhD writing, piles of notes and books and more notes, and the eternally unfolded washing and unused vacuum cleaner sitting forlornly in the background. I may never housework again. I may decide I am completely against housework.
I meet with the supervisors tomorrow (hi Kerry! hi Veronica!) and I have had a big and clever plan for weeks to show up with the best article in the history of all articles in my hot little hands, all finished and clever and referenced and finished.
But it’s not finished. It’s hard work, this easy-reading writing. Weaving in all the threads so it looks natural and obvious and so simple that perhaps anyone could have thrown it together over the weekend, it just takes a really long time. I probably edit every sentence a dozen times, then delete half of it and start again. Etc. It’s … it’s like trying to choreograph a 3D jigsaw puzzle on one leg to music that you then also have to compose, while rubbing your stomach with your left hand in time to other music. It’s possible this is a slight exaggeration, but I don’t think so. I have been breaking my own rule of going to bed before midnight and not working on weekends trying to get it done, and last night at 2am, having written just one paragraph in three hours, I had to admit defeat and go to bed.
It’s a bloody brilliant piece of writing. I am so proud of it. I even get to use the word ‘palimpsest’, and name three kinds of demons! But, alas, it’s also not (yet, but really very nearly) finished.
This morning, instead of frantically trying to throw together those last few pages, I took my tired self to the hairdresser instead and told her I wanted a change. I feel changed. Maybe not changed, maybe just more sure-footed. The pain has been (and is) a shit, no doubt, but the confused and confusing mental fog I lost myself under was so much worse. I didn’t know if it would ever lift; I forgot it even could. Now that it has, I’ll be damned if I take my poor wee brain for granted again. I’ll be damned if I wreck it with not enough sleep, and I’ll be damned if I don’t appreciate all the things it can do. It’s unique and it’s mine and I’m so very glad to have it home again.
If that’s not worth new pink hair, I just don’t know what is.