It just crossed my mind that this period two years ago is when I should have submitted my thesis and stage play for my Masters degree in Playwriting from the University of Ghana in Accra. Instead, I ended up applying for a year’s extension and by the time that year came around, my thesis still wasn’t ready to be submitted and though it took me another 6 months to admit it to myself, I wasn’t going to submit it because my heart was never really in it. Now this isn’t me trying to make an excuse because I’m way too Igbo (Nigerian tribe and I bring it up here cause Igbo people have a reputation for being very money-conscious) to comfortably justify “wasting” my school fees and time because my heart wasn’t in it. When I say my heart wasn’t in it, that’s just fact. I later came to realize I was doing that for my parents and not for myself but that’s a whole other post.
Back to my initial point, the one year and then some I spent trying to convince myself I was going to finish and submit my thesis, I beat myself up so many times for not having completed it in the initial time given. It was a huge sore spot for me and I carried it around like an overweight duffle bag that was weighing me down and making it hard for me to walk or even smile. I was so ashamed of myself, so sad I had let my parents down and let’s just say it was a long and painful year. I’d always prided myself on being smart and good at school even if I didn’t love it and not finishing with grad school as planned was a tough pill to swallow.
Now fast-forward to the day I realized that failing to submit my thesis and officially bag my Master’s degree did not make me a failure and I was still an intelligent human being who just happened to have a dent in an otherwise impressive academic record. I realized that even though I didn’t submit my thesis, I had emerged with a full length play on a theme I cared about, I had written at least 70% of a good thesis on the same theme (which was lots of hard work!), met new and interesting people and made some friends in the course of my study, acted my first stage play…sheesh! I was a good daughter, sister, and friend and I had grown up into a woman who was no longer okay with living a life she didn’t love. I wasn’t perfect but I wasn’t a failure either and till today, I bless the day I realized that.
It’s okay to fail as long as you don’t give up. It’s okay to fall as long as you get back up again. It’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them and keep moving forward. Maybe I’ll still end up finishing and submitting that thesis (that’s what I told my dad anyway) or maybe I’ll decide to do a totally different Masters degree. Maybe I’ll even decide I never want to go back to school but whatever the case, I know now that being imperfect is okay. Thank God too xxx