In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Panic. I feel panicked. That is all I am feeling right now. My mind is in a horrible mess of a frenzy. NIE requires me to submit my Graduate Record Examination (GRE) on top of my research proposal.
Oh, my God. I just want to have an epic meltdown already.
Yup, now I remember why I stayed away from school for so long after completing my latest educational stint… and I also remember the — excuse my language — mindfuck that comes with being a research student.
My mind is simply screaming right now. I only have until 1 August to complete my application. Why the rush? I found out that next year may be the final year for part-time programmes… after which, they would only be providing full-time programmes.
I can’t afford that! I need to work while studying! Oh, Allah, this is so insane…
The only reason I have to sit for a GRE is because I graduate from a foreign institution… seriously. I mean, the purpose of the GRE is to give the prospective school an idea of my verbal and quantitative knowledge as well as my analytical skills, yes, sure, I get that… but wouldn’t all that already be evident in my Honours thesis? Only God knows how much my brain hurts completing that very complex three-pronged and three-method research. My research project was quite an ambitious undertaking for an Honours thesis. I don’t know why I was crazy enough to do that.
And now am I crazy enough to hurt my brain again in an epic rush to complete two heavy tasks? People take months to prepare for the GRE… and I only have weeks if I were to submit my application on time.
And I have yet to think out my research proposal.
Well, if I do carry on with my application, I can tell you that this is a make-or-break thing — either I am meant for it or not. Straight up to my face some more. Like, Nurul Huda, this is the ultimate test that shows whether you got it or you simply don’t. Very Kamikaze.
I feel like a sailor out at sea. Wherever I turn, all I see is the vastness of the horizon. Just the ocean here. Just the ocean there. No island. No animal. Not even a boulder or an iceberg. I am holding the wheel with one hand and in my other hand, I am holding a broken compass. Its arrow is simply spinning and spinning and spinning because my heart simply has yet to decide the direction to take. Oh, how do I navigate these troubling waters then? Even as the waters remain still, I sense the danger in staying too long. There is so much dread in the air. The storm is coming for sure and I don’t set sail to somewhere, I will get caught up in its winds.
To be honest, it is not only in my academic life that I am feeling conflicted. I feel conflicted in my personal life. I feel conflicted in my professional life. I feel conflicted in my family life. I went through previous posts on this blog; one minute I am hopeful, the next I surrender. Like, woman, get a grip on things already!
WHAT DO YOU WANT, NURUL HUDA?!
No… The question was never about what I want.
The question that was begging to be asked all along is how am I going to get what I want AND how do I get out of the disappointment of not getting what I want?
Stop thinking like a brat, Nurul Huda, and start thinking real.
The destinations have always been there. Regardless of which destination I choose, which also means regardless of which life choices I make, they are all readily available at my disposal. I do not have control over my destinations. They may change, like those strips of beaches that appear and disappear at certain times in the middle of the ocean.
I only have control over my plans… which routes to take, how to steer my ship, which pit stops to make, who to hire to be part of my crew, and alternative routes to take in cases of emergency. Etcetera, etcetera.
And please note, only _plans_. The actual navigation and journey remain susceptible to so many elements.
Right now, there is a whirlpool forming ahead in between my ship and my island destination. In fact, I am probably only seeing the shadow of my destination. In fact, even as I carefully managed to navigate my way around the whirlpool, I may not even end up ashore. It could all possibly be a figment of my imagination, just an illusion, after having been lost at sea for so long.
Right now, that shadow of a PhD is screaming at me, “It’s a lost cause. Turn back!”
So now, what is my plan?
Let’s get lost in the cause. We’ll still end up somewhere. Maybe not where we want to be but it could possibly set us towards a better place to be.
Just be brave, my friend. “For the brave, nothing is too difficult.”
Only Allah is Knower of all things. – MM