New chapters and uncertainty

I had an interesting chat at work with a student who was submitting her thesis to be classified as passed. We were talking about process…how we had changed as people doing the Phd, learned a lot about ourselves, discovered resilience and strength we didn’t know we had and also that each stage had been different, even at the end.
Because I haven’t been writing as much as I want recently, it made me think of about three or four things to write about. Just the conversation for starters…her main point was that it was the end of a chapter in her life. Something I strongly felt at the time too. And how strange and daunting it can be to be faced with a blank page…new chapter yet to be written.
I said words to her that three or four months ago, certainly last year, I never thought I would hear myself say. “There are parts of the process and the way my life was then that I miss.” So much has shifted in my life in the last 6 months…and when those words came out of my mouth I realised that they were true.
Being a PhD graduate has different expectations attached. I honestly don’t know what I want to do now (except have a holiday). I am more confident. I have more to give to my friends and family and can be less selfish with my time and energy.
Yet there are imperceptible feelings swimming under the surface that I can’t quite figure out…perhaps it is just the challenge of the “new life” versus the known. For now, the blank page and I are mutually wary and I am learning to live with uncertainty, unknowing…and freedom. It was what it was…now it’s something else.

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