Tuesday, November 15, 2016

PG Express: It's worth the wait

Hi! The time has come. The time which I strived for so long. The time which every PhD student dreams of. The near end of this journey. When work is complete  from my side and it has actually been approved. All those years of work, passion, tears and frustration and a wait...a wait so long ...all have finally been validated. It's all worth it if it finally works out. The better it works the more it's worth it. It matters how satisfied the people associated with your work are.

The beginning of the end started last year. A hattric of acceptances and a great presentation. There was a research plan in the first year where I was told "You done a good job. Do us proud". From there we came to a full circle when the same person felt that I had done good and sufficient work. There are people of words and people of few words. The latter give out certain gems that one cherishes forever.

It's one thing to complete the work of your PhD and quite another to complete your dreams regarding your work. I was lucky enough to belong to the latter category. There came a time when I had crossed out all the  ideas which I had wanted to try at the beginning of my research. Of course some worked and some didn't but it gave a great satisfaction to be able to try all. There came another time when there were more goals: a certain category of publications, a certain number of "good" (or reasonably good)  publications, being able to present at a certain kind of conference. I was able to wind up my work with those goals achieved.

Next came another beautiful phase...the writing. Writing your thesis, completing the story which started years ago, it's a unique kind exhilaration. To create that first index and then subsequently add all the little analysis that you thought of. I remembering celebrating that first index. Then to create whole chapters. And finally to create your masterpiece...a dream that probably  starts the day you first look at any thesis: the Acknowledgement.  I spent a few days on my favourite masterpiece to make sure it was perfect and it included all the people who had been part of the journey in some way or the other. Dreaming up lines of acknowledgement had been one of my favourite procrastinations. Writing the thesis is a happy albeit stressful time. It's worth giving a little extra time because this is where you summarise all the work that you did throughout the years. For a while I loved writing my 1-2 pages a day and let myself absorb the feeling of writing my thesis . Later of course I paced up. Later it also became stressful, painful and tiring beyond exhaustion. The sleepless nights turned to sleepless months. Till there came a time when I was ready to let go.

After a period of lull, starts a agony of the wait and the questions and the second guessing. How will someone who has never seen you work find it?  When will  they respond? Will they ever respond? (this starts after a few months of wait). Then if you are lucky, comes a glorious day with the most beautiful words ever :approved! To see the confidence an external shares in your work, to see the pride amongst the people who have seen you work, made you work and sometimes even pushed you to work and know that finally all those years paid off, well there's no better feeling. It gives a validation to every thing you experienced throughout the years, through the jubilation and the tears, through the work and the wait, the ideas and the completion, the panic and the mini-celebrations.

It's all worth the wait.

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