Tag: thoughts

Splendour and Chaos

I am just starting the second year of my PhD and last Thursday was the first appointment of the year with my advisor. Before then, I was asked to write a summary of the research I had done during the first year so it could be reviewed by a research committee. I can gladly say that both the committee and my advisor were satisfied with my work and thought everything I had done so far was convincing and sensitive. They also concurred in saying that it was very clear and explained carefully… And that’s where I get to the title of this post.

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Because inside my head, everything looks quite the opposite. There’s a chaos of thoughts and doubts hiding behind the splendour of the summary that I gave to the professors. There is something about writing a dissertation that creates messes and confusions inside your brain. Sometimes, it feels as though I were facing a large ball of wool that I didn’t know how to disentangle. I have the intuition, deep down, that this ball, once it is  unravelled, will be the long, beautiful thread which will hold the thesis together, but now, it just lies there twisted on my brain-floor.

And I do have most of the elements I need to write and make an outline, but all of the ideas just keep floating inside my brain, and they are unwilling to come together. It scares me… All of these doubts… Teachers say it’s natural and healthy. Keats even believed the ability to remain in doubts and uncertainties was key to writing poetry and to easing the burden of being unable to understand everything about life. I agree with that… I really do, but what happens when positive, philosophical doubt turns into questions about whether or not you are capable ?

I suppose you have to push ahead. You have to take a step back and reflect on what you’ve done so far and how you can go on. You have to let the fog scatter and clear. And you have to write, even without a plan or a specific goal, just to see where the ideas take you. And hopefully one day, it will all make sense. So if there’s any piece of advice I can give myself, and anyone else, it is just that:  DON’T GIVE UP !

Love,

Sacha 💙

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And I almost gave up…

Three months have passed since I last wrote a post. This is not the first time it has happened – I have to admit I am not entirely sure why. Is it writer’s block? Is it me being so caught up in everyday life that I don’t take time to write? Or it is the old feeling of worthlessness coming back to haunt me and make me want to almost give up everything?

Clouds of thoughts… Lack of confidence… Uselessness…. Mists of doubts…. Feeling nothing

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Clouds of thoughts… Lack of confidence… Uselessness…. Mists of doubts…. Feeling nothing

And I did almost give up, though I didn’t let anyone know the feeling was growing inside me – give up my dissertation, my writing, my painting, my caring for anything and anyone. I almost gave up living altogether. I had forgotten the feeling – like a hand blinding you, choking you, silencing and stifling; so when it crept back, I was overwhelmed. How could I possibly deal? All I wanted was to disappear – to become invisible and to stop being a burden for everyone. And I didn’t tell. I didn’t tell because it would have been bothersome to others, wouldn’t it? I was so ashamed of myself. The blame kept pounding my head relentlessly. I could hear them, and I could see them and they were everywhere. The voices, and the eyes and the hands. I could not tell. This is crazy.

Instead, I focused on my family, my beautiful, wonderful girlfriend and my friends. I concentrated my thoughts on the love I could give and that I kept being given. On the luck I had to be working in a field that makes me feel passionate and stimulated. On all the things that I can do and all that I have accomplished. I faced myself. I looked my fears in the eyes and loosened their grip so my throat would not feel as constricted and my heart as tight.

I painted a mental picture of my dreams come true – a life with the person I love, painting or writing while she was playing the guitar and singing. I saw us working or reading or travelling. I heard us laugh. I took a deep breath and invited these heart-warming thoughts to settle; their soothing warmth scared away the numbness and negative doubts. Now, I am sitting down at the desk writing and my heart is full of love, gratefulness and passion and all I wish is for these feelings to shine on through.

 

I speak volumes

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I have come to terms with the fact that I cannot stop overthinking. I used to be thinking all the time – there it was, the unending flow of words, sentences and ideas, images sometimes, thoughts rushing so fast I could barely keep up. It still happens to me everyday, but at least it isn’t stopping me from enjoying life anymore. I do not overanalyze and observe every single little detail anymore. Or at least, I don’t do it so much that I cannot entertain a simple conversation or activity.

My thoughts are not as dark as they used to be either. But… I still feel bugged. It seems to me I speak volumes, and I think volumes, but I cannot feel satisfied because I don’t act enough. Mahatma Gandhi once said: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.”

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The harmony between the do and the say/think association doesn’t even come close to being realized in me. I keep thinking and saying: I’ll write in my blog once or twice a week; I’ll read more books; I’ll complete a painting every week and draw a little bit every day; I’ll

make sure to write some poetry or prose each day so I can complete my art and writing projects; I’ll be hard-working and study well to make sure I make my PhD dissertation the best I can make it… I think all these things. I say them too.

I envision my life and my sense of self would be like and how I could, most importantly, help others in any sort of way by achieving all these goals, by making all these dreams come true… But, happiness set aside, what makes the difference between a successful writer or artist and a would-be artist or writer if not the “doing”?

I don’t want to become bitter over time, thinking of myself as some sort of failure because I simply haven’t got myself to do what I dreamt of. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that all my dreams have passed me by. I don’t want to let the fear of failure and rejection stop me. I don’t want to let the remnants of my depressions tug at me and chain me, so they can take hold of me again.

I have made progress though… I do not seclude myself as much as I used to, and thanks to that, I have met my wonderful girlfriend. But now, I need to find the drive and dedication. I want what is swirling inside of me to be fully realized on the outside too. I wish not to only speak volumes, I want to create volumes!