I Bet I Don’t …

A fellow Master’s student threw a massive spanner in the works of my so-called Life last week.

She emailed me a link to Student Finance; apparently from September, they will be funding PhD’s through loans, in the same way as undergraduates.

I’d long since put that dream to bed, packing it away with all the other dreams that MS had trampled all over – running a half-marathon, staying up past midnight, opening a packet of crisps, having a proper career,or even a partner.

The Master’s was a challenge I set myself and it was horrific at times. The self-doubt along with the regular cog fog, fatigue and inability to string a coherent thought together morphed into a mountain of despair.

However, the Student Disability Team at my University were magnificent and I wouldn’t have graduated without their ongoing support. The pride I felt on graduation day swept away all the struggles, even if my cap kept slipping and I panicked about foot drop.

And that’s the thing. It was a challenge; difficult, insurmountable at times.

And now, there is no real challenge in my life. I have a great job but it will never be a career – I’ve traded that dream for a job that is flexible, understanding and totally built around MS.

As for a partner. Lol. I’m nowhere near ready for that. Having been single since MS first began (almost seven years ago), I’m resigned to meals-for-one and over-indulging the cat.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve long since moved on from my epic pity-party-for-one. I count my blessings, not least the incredible care and treatment I have had for the MS.

Yet, there is something … missing, something I could never, ever contemplate but is within tantalising reach. I’m not an academic and it was noted during my Master’s that I’m not an academic writer, so that’s a challenge in itself. But I have a germ of an idea that just won’t go away.

Part of me wants to give it a shot. Part of me wants to keep on binge-watching Netflix, cutting open crisp packets with my safety scissors and peering through the window, watching the world go by without me. It’s safe and it’s comfortable.

So, I’m putting this post out there, to you guys, not to convince me either way, but let’s chew this over. Six years part-time while still working is a huge commitment. Am I running away from dating? Or am I embracing a worthwhile challenge that will stretch me to the absolute limit?

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18 thoughts on “I Bet I Don’t …

  1. I’d say you are embracing a challenge. trying for a Phd is hard and could be rewarding πŸ™‚ and not everyone gets he chance to try for one due to costs, so if costs isn’t an issue, I say go for it! πŸ™‚

  2. Patrick says:

    Wow, yes you will be challenged but is it a possible route out from your current problems. Yes work is easy and convenient but there are no prospects and it is not challenging you.

    Its your decision. Opportunities come and go, do you want to let this one go and maybe never get it again? Yup a tough one.

    I think you could do it and you would enjoy the challenge

    • stumbling in flats says:

      You’ve given me a lot to think over, thank you πŸ™‚
      It’s definitely about having that challenge in my life. I do feel I’m too young to hang up my boots just yet πŸ™‚ X

      • Patrick says:

        Go on, do it. You can only work in building trade for so many years. This could be a career for several decades.

        Also you would become Dr Stensland, The Teenager would be very impressed.

        • stumbling in flats says:

          I know and I’m certainly feeling my age at the moment, lol. Especially with the hernia!
          As for The Teenager, so true πŸ™‚ X

  3. Jen says:

    Well, now that you know it’s a possible option if you don’t give it a try will you look back on this and regret a missed opportunity? If you will, could you live with that? πŸ€”

  4. Annie says:

    I admire you for considering it….I just couldn’t face committing to what would be required. I’d get too may bouts of lazyitis and then stress myself out and feel guilty. But given what you achieved so far you would breeze it I’m sure. Good luck with the decision whatever it is. Better not let it encroach on your blog though lol πŸ˜‚

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Ah, see that’s the thing. I’m massively lazy too, and can just see endless weeks drift by where I get nothing done πŸ™ I think that’s what scares me the most, as well as the academic side of it. Would I be putting too much pressure on myself?
      A big part of my likes my comfortable life at the moment!
      If I did try it, I’d probably end up blogging more as a displacement activity πŸ™‚ X

  5. Beth says:

    Whatever you decide to do…NEVER stop running away from dating. Never. Ever. But do go for the PhD foshow. πŸ˜‰

  6. Karen Schlotter says:

    You can probably come up with a thousand reasons not to try, but if you really think about it, what is there to lose by trying? Even if it doesn’t work out, you can know that you gave it your best. And by most accounts, that’s pretty damn good. I admire your strength and courage, no matter what choice you makeπŸ˜‰

    • stumbling in flats says:

      That’s a good point. Perhaps if I was to give it a year, rather than think of it in terms of six years, it would be easier to get my head around! X

  7. nanette says:

    Go for it Barbara.
    I would love to know the chosen theme.
    You love reading, researching ,sharing conversation,discovering.Your communicative skills are excellent and in doing so I am sure your studies will not only help you but others also.
    I am sure if you take on the challenge you will be very passionate about what you are embarking on.
    thinking of you

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you so much Nanette!
      It sounds random, but I have an idea for a book with a split narrative involving … Victorian wallpaper. It’s been flitting around my mind for years now and I wonder if the structure of a PhD will help bring it to fruition! X

  8. Alison Ellett says:

    What is your area of study? Could you become one of those terribly well educated people who makes the subject matter understandable to non-experts? Is your “idea” something that could be not just a PhD thesis but a non-academic book? So much to think about! Is quite an opportunity.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      It’s most definitely non-academic! I would take a PhD in creative writing, a huge growth area. I want to explore the difference in attitudes to MS between the Victorian era and now, with a bit of medical gaslighting thrown in for good measure. Sounds very odd, but I’m starting to work out a plot … X

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