I am 27 years old.
I live in a white house with a blue-eyed boy and a chocolate-brown cat.
I research in environmental studies and today is the first day I will be talking seriously about what I want to do for the rest of my life.
I have two and a half hours and counting until it's time to pack up my things and sit on the bus and meet the man who might offer me job, or some ideas, or suggest I take some more time to think about things (more thinking. Please, no) or... nothing, really.
I might come away soaring or empty or utterly confused (again, please, no.)
It's a warm, summer day outside.
I will be wearing my new pink ballet shoes and trying to hide the spot I have on my left cheek.
Underneath the shoes, a tiny white sticker reads: 'These shoes are original ballet construction and will not stand hard outdoor wear.'
Suits me. I'm all about the inside today anyway.
And if there is a perfect pair of shoes to mark a new, uncertain and long inner path, it isn't clunky boots made for walking.
It's pink shoes made for dancing.
Until then, though, I will be reading through the notes I made last night and staring out of the window at the icy blue house across the street, framed by a limpid blue sky, and drinking my morning coffee and trying to just be present and calm.
I have thought long and hard about what I will say to him and I've run through the list of reasons why I would like to work with him until I'm blue in the face.
I have thought about what I could usefully contribute to the world if I work with him. What I can usefully contribute to the world if he shows no interest in working with me. What I can usefully contribute to the world if I write my thesis and go home and just start anywhere - even with just one child sitting across the street from my house, doing anything - even just teaching it to put off a light switch.
On and on and on. I've thought and thought and thought.
But this morning, this is what I feel:
I am grateful I still want to contribute something useful. It's been a long time since I've wanted to do that, and I'm afraid I haven't done as much as I could have. I am grateful that at least the feeling of wanting has stayed fresh and ever-present, always waiting to be used.
If nothing comes out of any of this. If my PhD has just all been a waste. If I am no good to anything anywhere. I will go home and eat lunch with my parents and hold my mother's hand as she watches the Bold and the Beautiful, and stroke Pasha to sleep every night and love M. every minute of every day and spend the rest of my fathers' life making up for the time I have been away and learning from him every minute of every day. I will love them as much as I can love anyone and show it as much as I can show anyone, every. single. day.
And that will possibly be the best and most good thing I will ever do anywhere in the world anyway.
So I will do that.
And it will be much, much more than enough, if that is the only good thing I ever do in the world.
I've listed out paper ideas and what my research interests are. But I wish I could simply say: I have learnt a lot from you, Supervisor-Sir. I am full of what you taught me. I can only promise that I: Always want to keep learning. Always want to help the Earth somehow. Always will feel heartbroken at the words Climate Change. Always will want to do something to help heal it. Never stop feeling like I CAN do something.
Time to go get dressed.
Today feels like something.
It'll also be the day I find out if nothing can come from something. That's another post on quantum physics that I don't have the time for :)
Wish me luck.