I was at a party this past weekend and I heard a group of people I didn’t know having a very peculiar conversation.
But it was probably only odd to me.
They were talking about a book I knew well. Or once knew well. They were talking about the book I did my thesis project on.
When I received a M.A. in English in 2010 (UNC-Wilmington represent), I did my thesis on a book called House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski and another book called Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar. Both are phenomenal, read them.
One guy was explaining House of Leaves and doing a pretty good job about it. I almost went over there and said “I did my thesis on that book…”
But I didn’t. And it’s not because I’m a completely humble guy and that would have made me sound like a prideful idiot (it would have).
The thing is…I really didn’t have anything else to say. See, I honestly can’t remember what my thesis was about. My general premise was…something about experimentation? I flipped through some papers the other day and saw my thesis, but I didn’t sit down and read it again. I’m kind of over it. I’ve moved on. I still teach English and read tons of stuff, but my thesis project is over.
Does that mean I didn’t value my education? I don’t think so. I could return to that thesis any day, and dive right back in. But for now, I’ve forgotten about it. And I’m okay with that.
Because I worked hard on it. And I’ve moved on to work hard on other projects.
To totally change writing careers. To teach English classes. To get a novella published. To finish another novel (and waiting publication…). To start other novels that I have tons of ideas for. To invest in other people like my wife, my church, my community, my foster daughter, and my new daughter.
I don’t remember every article I’ve ever written. I don’t remember my novella word for word. I don’t remember every conversation with my wife, but I know we’ve built something great.
In my mind, working hard means moving on…and even forgetting.
What do you think?