Tag Archives: Viva

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, my PhD Viva (oral exam) took place. I’m trying to recall how the day went, but can’t really remember much at all. All I remember is counting down to it via my blog, and being in a strange mental place (somewhat detached, excited, fully pressurised, elated, a vacuum), and going to Morrisons on the way back to buy some smoked Bavarian cheese.

Roundabout the same time, my good friend A. split up with his missus (actually it was a few weeks after – just after the New Year I think) and, meeting up with him yesterday, here’s some real, solid proof how quickly life can change and turn its tables:

A. one year ago (roughly):

  • quite fat (well, big, overweight, but tall. Fat face though 😛 )
  • just about to be left by his missus of over 2 years
  • stuck in a hateful, despicable, exploitative job (working for Lidl 😐 )
  • stuck in a flat he was unlikely to afford much longer / on his own

A. now (roughly):

  • quite skinny (thin bordering on junkie)
  • in a happy, successful relationship since roughly August
  • in a great job with prospects, about to be promoted
  • living with his new missus and just bought a house

Thus, what initially looked like a devastating blow, able to fuck up his life and his dreams (missus leaving him), has turned out to be just the thing he needed to move his life on to the next level. A bit like a kick-start, or a punch in the face, that leaves you more beautiful after.

Lessons to be learned:

  • bad things aren’t really essentially bad – they can become something really positive, given time
  • do not fear devastation
  • do not kill yourself