Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Gang aft agley

I had an epiphany.

Well, maybe it's more of a change of perspective more than any thing else. My biggest stresser this year is to get The Project done. I have to do an 18 credit project as the last and final part of my degree program at BCIT. There are one of three ways I can achieve this:
  • Do one large 18 credit project
  • Do two smaller 9 credit projects
  • Do a 9 credit project and take 3 more courses
I've opted to try for door #1. However, the first hurdle is to get the project proposal approved. This is no easy feat. I've been actually discouraged by the program adviser to taking this route as it's very difficult to get a large project approved. In fact, most people tend to choose option #2.

The project itself has a bunch of requirements that unfortunately, cannot be fufilled by one of my work projects, so I had to look elsewhere. I've already started something with a third party client. However, things have been slow going with them. The project itself, is quite large, and I actually quaked at the sheer size of it. But I plowed on ahead.

Now here's where the stress comes in. I said that I wanted to finish this thing by the end of the year, partly because I've been living in a dark tunnel without seeing the light at the end for such a long time that I'm desperate to see the end, but the bigger reason is because I don't want to be doing school any longer. We want to start a family next year, and my grand plan was to finish school before then.

Right now, if you ask me when my project is going to be done, I can't even give you a ball park because 1) my project isn't approved and 2) there are a number of factors that is slowing the process down. My biggest stress is #1. Not that I don't think that it won't be approved, but they won't approve it as an 18-credit project (even though there are enough hours for an 18 credit project, they are looking for other criteria).

This albatross has been hanging around my neck for the past 1.5 years and has stressed me out to no end. An albatross partially, I will admit, of my own making. So I've decided to rip the albatross from my neck and fling it away from me.

In his poem, "To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough", Robert Burns writes:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley [Go oft awry]
Bob is a wise man.

I've been planning for something that may not work out the way I want it to. I've been so worried the project will become door #2 instead of door #1 that it's been making me unhappy.

So instead of focusing solely on door #1, I'm embracing uncertainly. This project may become door #2, even though it's going to take a better part of this year to finish it (if I even finish it this year). There are options, I just haven't allowed myself to consider them before.

What is certain is that I will finish my degree, it's just a matter of when. A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. There is a light at the end of the tunnel after all.

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