The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 33

I hold my hands up.  I’m rubbish at this getting-blogs-done-on-time crap.  This blog is now over twelve hours late, and I have no excuse.

However, yesterday, I did manage to get a fair bit of dissertation work done.  I knocked out 400 words and structured it a little more.  That took me all morning and most of the afternoon, but after dinner, I just wasn’t in the mood for more work.  I had intended to pick it up again later in the evening, but my mood had been soured, resulting in watching television and doing puzzles.  I decided around 10pm to get an early night, and took my laptop with me, with the intention of writing the blog before I slept.  But while procrastinating over the blog, I fell asleep, and awoke the next morning with the realisation that I had yet again missed another deadline.

When I woke up yesterday, not having written my blog from the night before, I made writing it the first thing I did.  This seemed to work. I got the blog written and posted and then for the rest of the day worked on my dissertation.  But today, I didn’t do that.  I watched my two episodes of Frasier, and then started working on my dissertation.  I’m writing about women writers, their female protagonists, and the links between, marriage, creativity and self.  I guess I’m trying to find some answers myself.  I’m using two well-known stories (in academia, anyway) from the 1890s,  Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper and The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, and comparing them against novels by two contemporary female writers; Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult, and Lorrie Moore’s A Gate at the Stairs.

Yesterday the 400 words I wrote were on the chapter about The Yellow Wallpaper.  A story about a woman, suffering with post-natal depression (although it wasn’t recognised back then) who goes mad, after being locked in an attic by her physician husband.  I can relate to that (the going mad part at least).

The second book I’m using, The Awakening, is about a married woman who leaves her husband and goes on a sexual and emotional journey; an awakening.  This is a journey I too, I have taken, and in fact, am still taking.

This morning I have been working on my favourite novel of them all, Jodi Picoult’s Harvesting the Heart.  Like a modern-day version of The Yellow Wallpaper, maybe a what-happens-next?, Picoult’s character, Paige, leaves her three-month-old son, Max, and husband, Nicholas, and goes on a pilgrimage to find her mother, who left her when she was five.  Harvesting the Heart is about finding the answers, and the journey you must take to do so.  Perhaps the reason I can relate is because my own journey, these last three, well, six years, if I’m honest, has been about finding the answers.  Why do I feel this way?  Where should I be in life?  What should I be doing?  When will I start to feel happy in my own skin?  As I have mentioned before, this chapter is coming to a close, and perhaps that is why I am panicking.  Because I don’t feel like I have all the answers yet.  I have a huge bundle of memories; of good times and bad, of lessons learnt, some easy to grip and some hard to swallow.  But how I put those memories together into one final picture that makes sense; well that is about these last few weeks.  Recently I feel like I’m working on a jigsaw puzzle where most of it is done, but all that is left is a hundred little bits of blue sky, that all look the same.  Until recently, I couldn’t face finishing the puzzle because I didn’t know where to start.  But now I seem to have managed to find one piece that fits, and this has given me the push I needed to try and fit the rest.  It’s a painstaking job, though, like my dissertation.  I must take the notes and references I’ve collected so far and put them into a piece of work that flows; from the introduction, through all four chapters, to the final conclusion.  This is the story of my life over the last six years, and it’s time to read back over it, and see what I’ve learned.

A Gate at the Stairs, is as the title suggests, about confinement.  But it is also a story about identity and about not making the same mistakes.  Learning, from past mistakes.  Tonight I must get my blog written on time.  If I want to move forward, I need to learn that self-discipline.  I cannot keep making the same mistakes, or how will I ever move on?


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  1. Trackback: Page not found | 33andlostinlife

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