In one of his recent comments Paul bade me luck on my exams, signing off with “As usual, I know you will prevail!“. I read that; I read and was bitter. Not because I doubted the sentiment. Or because I didn’t appreciate his thoughts. No, for another reason entirely.

You see, I did not want to prevail.

That I entertained this reaction felt bizarre, unseemly – even wrong. Yet even I could not deny its strength, or my sense that it was true. I simply did not want to go on. I wanted to walk away – to leave ‘it all’ behind. To fail – but selfishly, without consequences.

Now if you asked me what ‘it all’ meant, I’d reply “I don’t know”. But it isn’t Waterloo. Or the university. It isn’t one thing. Or even many little things. By being unidentifiable it gains a weight it may otherwise not have achieved. How can I reason about an unknown?

I wish I understood what happened, what changed. Instead, I silenced that voice. Ground it out and ground through my projects, assignments and exams.

Like I always do.

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