Dearest Alan Watts,
You changed my life today.
I came across a quote of yours—it’s a quote I’ve seen before, but, boy, do I need reminding of it right now.
This is the real secret of life—to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.
~ Alan Watts, British philosopher
In the here and now, I’m writing a 30,000 word thesis to finish my Master’s degree.
Writing is a kind way of putting it—trudging through it, more like.
Trudging through the sludge.
Trudging through the begrudging sludge.
Trudging and fudging my way through the begrudging sludge.
Like a drudge.
The trouble is, I’m a completely different person to the one who started the degree two years ago.
I’m a different person to the one I was yesterday and I’ve grown so far away from this thesis that I’m struggling for the motivation to just keep swimming.
It’s not the content of it—I had some beautiful people join me on the journey and their stories are quite something.
No, my issue is the work, what is expected of a thesis—the way it’s “supposed” to be written. I’ve battled with university my whole student life, trying to get them to see that creativity is just as [more!] valid as academic writing, but the institution is stubbornly stuck in the mud, the sludge—they won’t budge.
I think a lot of us face jobs like this, too? I’m not working right now, but I’ve definitely had my share of nine-to-fivers where you’re just clock-watching, day in and day out, counting down the dreary moments until you get to go home.
You get to live.
But, in the meantime, life is passing us right on by.
I really needed to see this quote today—to remind me that this thesis doesn’t have to be work.
It can be play.
It is play.
Because, you know what? I might allow myself to constantly change, but there are some things I won’t budge on, either—creativity is one of them.
Truth is another.
Authenticity. I won’t be anyone other than myself—and I won’t write like anyone other than myself.
It’s not easy—work is still work.
30,000 words is still 30,000 words!
But, we have one lifetime of moments and one lifetime of choices to make in those moments.
Will you choose work? Sludgery, trudgery, drudgery?
Or will you make the most of it and call it play?
Call it life.