When I think of the emotion I feel, the only thing that comes to mind is being trapped. A day off from work becomes a thing of dread rather than a welcome exhale of the stress from the day before. I feel the grip of an invisible straight jacket around my body and my mind. The reason for this being my motivation to complete my MA is minimal, the loan I took out to pay for my MA curtails any big life decisions I want to make and until recently, I feared being 28 years old and unsure of what I wanted to achieve in life.

For a long time it was the ‘career’ aspect of life that caused me internal dread and disappointment. I have stumbled through my late teens, early twenties and now the latter twenties waiting for that ‘light-bulb on’ moment that I always thought other people had when they knew they wanted to be a doctor, a tree surgeon or a writer. I could (and still do) have ten or more different ideas a day of what I could be or want to be, yet the idea of any of these evolving any further dissipates when reality joins the internal monologue in my head — ‘you don’t have the qualification, you don’t have the time, you don’t have the money, it’s too late in your life to make these changes.’ — I can honestly say I was exhausted constantly blocking my own ambitions.

Now I no longer fear the unknown of my career, if anything I am open to what life throws at me. All I know is that I need to be in something that serves a purpose that fills me with a sense of use to society and humanity. This is the one thing I have known since I was a child ‘I want to help people’. I do not know what shape this will take, will it be listening to people, making people laugh, teaching people, or nursing them back to health and relieving their suffering. I don’t care I just need to be freed from my own constraints to find my purpose.

The constraints I speak of revolve around my never ending MA, the fact that it never appears to end is a self-inflicted thing. I am one of many people with a frustrating amount of anxiety that causes severe procrastination and constant feelings of doubt, the act of researching for my MA and writing is incredibly difficult and often impossible. A consequence of this is missed deadlines and this inevitably leads to feelings of shame and further anxiety and doubt. It has reached the point where I am considering withdrawing from my MA with only one essay and my dissertation to go.

My dissertation for a long time was my driving force in submitting previous essays, I wanted to complete these so that I could envelope myself into a topic of my choosing and experience that excitement and obsessive feeling of knowing I truly loved what I was doing. This drive has withered and this final essay, let alone my dissertation seem impossible. All I want now is to leave the MA, so that I can work full-time to pay off the loan I took out for the MA I want to leave, and be able to feel my life has begun and I will in due time find my purpose.