News: Again To The Books!


I have news!

I think it’s exciting, good news, however, it does come with the disclaimer of: “Well, of course I’m crazy. But life’s more interesting that way!”

Today plenty of students across the UK are excitedly finding their results, and then with whatever they find, hoping or searching for a place in their chosen university. To all those students (and the admin and IT staff working hurriedly to help) I wish you well. I am also excited to say I will be joining you this September… kind of.

St Andrews is a very special place. Photograph by Ben Goulter.

This Autumn I start an MLitt Distance Learning course in Theology, specifically “Bible and the Contemporary World”, a practical theology module: the stuff that has an actual effect on life, rather than theories that may cause people to argue over old books. I’ve already annoyed people with that statement, but I’ll argue with you another time.

The reason I haven’t mentioned this to many people until now (I have known for at least a couple of months) is because I was desperate not to get any more comments about my time, taking on too much, “but you’re a mum now”, or about how I won’t make it. I didn’t need any of that because my own depressing anti-me voice inside myself was telling me all of that already. I know I don’t have much time, but Cub has made me more efficient with my time, not less so. I know I take on a lot, but I always have, and the satisfaction I get from discussing and creating and solving is incredible. I know (I REALLY KNOW) that I’m a mum, I have the scars to prove it, but I believe that I wouldn’t be a very good one if I didn’t show my daughter that when/if she decides to have a family she doesn’t lose every other part of herself. I feel that I have more responsibility to make myself and my life a success story (and success comes in MANY forms) so when my daughter is grown up she is proud of who her mum was/is. Plus daytime TV is not helping my mind stay alert, and so if anything I am seeing this as a way to stay mentally active… like the gym for scaring the food baby away.

I didn’t even mention it when someone else in my family mentioned they too were starting a Masters. This is more about not wanting to fall into the trap of competitive conversations – those that go “Oh your baby is so cute when they try to walk. My child has been tying their shoelaces for a fortnight.” No-one needs more of that, or anything close to it, so instead I have tried to simply ask about people’s lives and listen, not compare or add. I have failed, but this felt like an occasion to stay quiet and really show an interest in what she was doing and why. Of course, I then had a mild panic about whether she’d think I had been deceptive or sneaky about not mentioning it.. but I tried to put away that silliness and move on.

I am honestly really excited, and terrified, about starting, but I have also struggled to tell people out of fear and weird embarrassment. I have often doubted I am smart enough to do much of what I enjoy. I also worry that I will become a sub-par mother through the attempt. I also have so many other passions, but only one life. I keep trying to shake the idea of time slipping away (having a 6 month old doesn’t help this feeling). Yet, the subjects I shall be reading are vast and political and personal; the first module is ethics, specifically within medicine and health care. If anything it should help me become a more informed voter and parent. My hope is that it will make me better at everything I do, because through challenging myself with the scary things I will learn to be brave, and become a better example.

I am also incredibly happy that I will be moving forwards within my career. My dream job does not exist, but that only means I have to work harder, aim higher, and push further to make a space for me where one does not yet exist. This is one little step forward in that hope, and I am being patient, but persistent.

Prayer is always appreciated, but if you are in the medical pathways right now you may be hearing from me soon to debate the theological influences of Christian teachings, to speak on the purpose and value of life (and death) within our world, to go over the meanings of the oath, and so much more. This blog will obviously be influenced in the coming months, and I hope too my art increases and describes what I learn and think about.

Your commentary is welcome.

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