Growth and change
Anne wonders what is happening through the process of becoming a PhD, wondering at the odd restlessness, like growth, itching. Do we change, she asks.
Oh yes we change. Not all of it is pretty, either. We learn to be self-absorbed, to disregard distractions and counter-arguments, to force endings. We learn to use friends and then move on, to set the goal before the means, jesuits of no faith other than our own project.
But if we are lucky, we also learn to forget about the small things, to let petty frustrations be, to appreaciate the human attention and mutual understanding at all levels.
I still don't know who I am. My colleagues tell me I am different, that I care and to see the needs of others rather than just my own angry helplessness. If that is true, it has been a good thing. And I am still married, still talking to my children, and haven't alienated all of my sisters, so I guess I have done a relatively good job at getting to a Doctorate. There are friends and contacts I still mourn occasionally, knowing I let them go, let them slip away fighting to become something I never expected.