I wish that someone had sat me down and shaken me three years ago. Time lost. Lost opportunity has always been something I regret. So many more things I could have got from my degree if I had sat down and worked out what I wanted from it and taken more responsibility for myself. The almost-essay in my last post is something I'd have loved to discuss with some of my tutors – Michael Hurley because he would know exactly where else that conversation goes, and Alison Hennegan because she knows about Adrienne Rich and the relationship between art and feminist activism in that era. And not just my degree. Parts of my mind have been crying out to be listened to for years. I have been going through the motions of living without doing so, and this means I have barely scratched the surfaces of so many of the things that have happened. There is no excuse for being alive if not to live, and I almost feel as though I haven't been. Maybe I made a conscious decision merely to exist for a while when I graduated. I think I did. I needed to recover from a lot of things that had happened over the preceding years. The deaths of two people I was close to, my own cracking, the actual degree itself. I regret I never sat down and made myself space for some of that at the time it happened; I might have had this wake-up call so much earlier. The explosion at the beginning of my second year should have led to this conversation. Maybe it has – maybe it took until now.
I want to fill every minute of my life with experience. And experience can be this – reflection on experience. Analysis of living. Coming to a better understanding of how to be. Of myself. Of how things are.
I'm sitting here now wondering whether I can ever regain some of the lost time – does going extra-fast now mean I can play catch up? Or do I merely have to agree with myself never to live less than fully again? Is that reconciliation enough?
This doesn't negate anything that has happened this year – anything that generated any true feeling in me must have been impressive indeed.