I keep checking my email, petrified of getting a message from someone–a student or my thesis advisor or a professor or the graduate school–alerting me to something I’ve overlooked. Instead, I’ve received a handful of emails from students thanking me for a wonderful term and for making them confident writers and a few emails from the department congratulating the graduating MAs and MFAs and inviting us to BBQs and end of the year readings.
I’m in serious denial. It can’t be over, can it? Did I really defend my thesis this last Tuesday? Has the big climactic moment come and gone? It feels like a dream, like a ridiculous rose-colored fantasy I thought up this last fall when I was in the thick of it all.
But yes. It’s over. Or at least, almost over. I defended my thesis, turned in final grades, submitted final assignments, and cleaned out my desk. I have to make a few very minor revisions to my thesis that will take no more than an hour and submit it to the graduate school by the end of next week. And then it’s really over.
Maybe it would feel more real if it felt more like summer outside. Or maybe it will hit me once my parents get here tomorrow afternoon and congratulate me. Or maybe it won’t hit me until I unload that U Haul truck in Washington in a few weeks.
For now, I’m enjoying my denial, my bliss. But I can’t help feeling like I’m forgetting something, like I’ve overlooked some important detail. I keep going over old to-do-lists, searching for an incomplete task. But the boxes can all be checked off. And slowly, the weight is beginning to lift off my shoulders and as a result, I suddenly feel like me again. I want to write and read for enjoyment and cook and research anything that strikes my fancy.
And dammit, I’m going to do it all. Because I have a goddamned Master’s degree!