the afterlife

Limbo. That’s what it feels like, but that’s not quite the right word. Still it’s a useful starting point so let’s go with that for now.

That’s kind of how the past four weeks have felt to me, the time that’s passed since I sat my final exam on 3 June; limbo. Almost a state of nothingness. Even as I write this I am only too aware just how trite, mawkish and downright pompous this sounds, yet it’s true. For the past five years I haven’t just been Shaun, I’ve been Shaun the student. I had a goal, a destination, a spot on the horizon on which my gaze was fixed and which helped define me. The very fact of being a student permeated my every moment and occupied a large amount of my brain’s activity. Deadlines had become part into the seasonal fabric of my year (in fall mid-term essays felt russet, smelled of bonfires; Easter’s were chocolate flavoured, perfumed by daffodils; summer’s exam revision occurred to the counterpoint of swifts screaming across the sky) and once free from their benevolent tyranny there is a sense of being cut adrift, a sense of uncertainty.

It’s not a bad thing and please don’t think me in any way miserable. Far from it. I’m just aware that something that was hugely important and valuable to me has ended and, like all things we love, it’s only when it is taken from us that we realise how much a part of us it had become. Like any lover it has the ability to inflame and exasperate, to tease and beguile, to comfort and unsettle us. Its absence is felt more profoundly because of this.

For three years I’ve been in a peer group of like minded people being allowed to think about, to focus in great detail on literature, and to discuss it with those people. I wouldn’t trade the last three years for another five years of life (nods to LCD Soundststem for that). So, now begins the task of redefining myself and getting to grips with life after working towards my BA. September 2015 is the date when I hope to begin studying for my MA, but between now and then goodness knows what I’ll get up to. I’ll keep you informed.

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