I have two weeks left of my MA. At least, I have two weeks until I have to hand in the thesis. I have slightly more time than that to finish the artwork for the final show, but I think that psychologically it will benefit me if I finish everything by the 16th September and that is what I am aiming to do.
I feel as if I have read, re-read and re-re-read the ‘beast’, as I fondly call the thesis, too many times now. I am blind to its merit or demerit. It is what it is.
It has been a part of my life, and has grown with me, for two years now. If I open ‘MA thesis first draft 2018’ I am struck by how completely different it is to ‘New MA thesis revised July 2019 formatted final’. They could be two different pieces of work.
Since I have just two weeks to go, there isn’t much I can do now to change what I have written. I seem to have amassed 18,000 words about ‘stuff’ over the last two years. Looking at the bibliography, I have spent far too much time reading about stuff. I also believe that I have spent far too much time thinking about stuff. But what will I think about after September 16th? I can’t think about that yet.
Looking back at the past two years, and as I sit here in my studio surrounded by two years worth of artwork, I see how much I have changed, developed and learnt in that time. I have shed a lot of tears too. I have had times of deep introspection and existential crisis. I have wanted to give up. I have felt as if I am wading through trickle. I have felt guilt at not ‘producing’ anything for weeks on end (last August to this February). I have felt lost, stifled, confused and struck down with impostor syndrome. I have also had good days, days when an idea grips me and I am buzzing with enthusiasm, days when I have written a few thousand words in a frenzy of intellectual electricity. And I’ve had days when I’ve been desperate to paint my thoughts out. It may be a cliche to say this, but it has been a roller coaster ride.
My personal life has also gone through a major transformation in that time – one of the biggest a person can go through. This has, at times, impeded on my ability to deal with the art research. It has also, at times, given me the energy and enthusiasm and provided me with incentive to go that bit further. There has been at least one time, during the darker times, when I thought it would cause me to give up. I haven’t given up, the lighter times have beaten that thought out of me.
I now have two weeks left in which to give up but I can say with confidence now that that isn’t going to happen. For risk of sounding like a bad Oscar speech, I have so many people to thank for carrying me on this journey and getting me thus far. You know who you are. I thank you with all my heart.