Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'm a graduate (again!)

Time feels like it is slipping through my fingers.  I say this because of what seems like an ever increasing speed at which my life is moving forward.  Days seem to pass by very quickly, as do the weeks and even the months.  I now seem to experience the terrifying days where I find myself incredibly busy and the day is over without me even fully realising that anything has happened.  There is a repetition that kills the uniqueness of each day, that turns it into something more akin to the rotation of gears than an actual individual moment of beauty it should be.

I think back to when I was a child and how even the thought of having to wait a single hour for anything would be tantamount to torture.  Yet now, I seem to want the opposite.  I want to slow the time, I want to turn the water through my fingers into molasses, yet with no success.  This is concerning to me as I constantly wonder and fret over whether I am doing enough with my life.  I question whether or not I am actually taking hold of the moments I have been blessed with and using them for something worthwhile.  Yet even this has its challenges as I am forced to decide between the investments for the future and acting for the present.

I now found myself in one of those situations where I was once again questioning whether I had made the correct decision in how I had used my time.

I was graduating from university again.

I now had a Masters of Law from the University of New South Wales.

I had enjoyed the opportunity to study again, but it had not been easy.  There had been significant sacrifices that had been made to ensure that I was able to undertake both the studying and the work to a successful degree without negatively impacting the other.  I had found myself locked in study labs and in front of computers working when others were out enjoying themselves.  I had been forced to concentrate in isolation as others were enjoying the company of friends and family.  I could even clearly remember the times when my housemates tried to convince me to the go to the beach and I was forced to turn them down so that I could read journal articles instead.

The sense of achievement was definitely still there.  It was the cliched feeling of reaching the end of a journey, but with more finality.  I had never expected to have completed my masters (and definitely not so quickly), so there was also satisfaction in knowing that I had hit another milestone unexpectedly.  The only problem was the continued nagging thought in my head of whether this was the "correct" milestone to be hitting.  Had I had made the right decision?  Had I sprinted in the right direction or had I merely placed myself even further from the destination that I ultimately wanted to arrive at?

Sitting in the audience, I was lucky enough to find that the guest speaker was George Williams.  The famous George Williams who wrote the constitutional law textbooks that filled me with pain and terror during my undergraduate years.  He was not what I expected at all.  He was not the old and grey professor I had imagined, but was instead an open minded progressive.  Who would have thought it?

As I sat and listened to Prof Williams speak, I found myself actually being interested by what he was saying (another shocking surprise I did not expect from my graduation).  He spoke of failure.  He spoke of the need to fail and how often he had failed in life.  He spoke about how it was only through the constant failure that he had eventually succeeded.  I contemplated this message silently in my seat.  Failure was truly inescapable, but it was still more difficult to rationalise it when I struggled to decide what I considered to be success.

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