PhD out, feeling dry, a journey in my past

Jul 13, 2007 | 3 minutes read

Tags: PhD, Zen

Yesterday was an important day for me. I sent the last draft of my PhD thesis to the official reviewers. That means that the purely scientific work is now done, and most of the editing work is behind me. Now I have to wait a few weeks to get their reports and know if I’ll be allowed to defend (and hopefully get my diploma) or not.

To be honest, I was really looking forward this particular day. Most of the pressure I had because of the PhD is gone, what I need is patience now, which also means I suddenly have more time to spend on KDE. But now, I’m feeling dry. This morning, I managed to get nothing done on KDE. I knew what I should do, I have a few important post-aKademy tasks to do, but I can’t seem to find the energy for them.

Then, today, my morning was a big nothing… Great way to start… How disappointing. So I decided to go for a walk downtown. Took the bus, and had lunch in a small shop. A bottle of water, a veggie sandwich and a chocolate muffin and I was feeling better already. I don’t know why I chose this place, I got there only once I think. The food is not outstanding, but pretty ok… there’s something retro in the place which makes me like the atmosphere.

I kept wandering in the city: store, bookshop, computer shop, another bookshop… This little “waste time” game lasted for a bit more than two hours I think. Then I decided it was enough, and walked to the bus stop. But, I didn’t feel like waiting for the bus, so I kept walking to the next stop. I don’t know if I missed it, but at one point it was feeling easy to skip this one too, and the next one, etc.

Halfway to my home, I suddenly realized I was close to a park and an area I used to spend time when I was much younger. So my feet led me to the park, completely forgetting the bus line… I was back fifteen years ago. Everything was still here, as if it was waiting for me. Of course, it changed too. I felt like someone who was in a coma and was rediscovering the place. And I kept walking in the steps of my younger self, ended up in front of my old school. The front changed a lot, but it’s still here… Too bad it’s closed for the summer, I’d like to see it from inside again. And I kept walking, followed the same path than when I finished my day at school…

This very long and unexpected walk actually led me close to my flat, so I ended up there, finally reaching home. I knew when I moved in this flat that I was moving close to those old memories… But I didn’t realize it until today, walking with no real purpose. It was nice to follow again the steps of my younger self. I’m generally proud of the fact that I kept a child in me, but apparently I lost some of the memories of this child along the path. And now, those memories are back… at last!

The only downside of this walk was that I kept a part of me feeling guilty because I was doing “nothing”. But I think it was worth it, and it’s definitely something I have to do in order to have more energy again for the coming years. I need to enjoy the summer, I want it to be a calm period in my life to prepare a new beginning…