Days pass, in a different kinda haze. I would not have believed what the disappearance of one big chunk of stress does to my mind – there’s so much going on, that I don’t seem to catch up myself. Many times have I thought I want to write something here, but when I finally get around to sit by the computer, I’ve changed. Not just my mind but I feel likea different person already.
Today, I finally knew what I wanted to write. Had even the time, but for some reason I now see I spent the 30 minutes painting my fingernails.
Gosh. I made it. Even though I have not yet completly realised it, the relief is almost too much to bear.
I’ve heard so much praise and congratulations and complains about ‘what were you so stressed about?’ – but hey, I was *truly* afraid I wouldn’t be able to make it. The opponent was really nice, and did not press me on the subject of KCC2 which I clearly had lost in a blackout – could have been much worse.
Regardless of my boss telling everybody that it seems that Ms. Uusisaari needs more stressful working conditions as it seems to do good for her – I think I was quite close to losing the physical side. On Sunday evening I was feeling feverish and had a sore throat – but fortunately the overdoses of vitamin C etc kept me going.
As for Monday… the schedule:
5.00 Wake up, find that my stomach hurts so that I can’t move. Keep on counting my breaths aloud, otherwise my thoughts will go on and wring me into shreds in a second. Fortunately, manage to sleep more.
7.30 wake up, realise that my face looks like I’d been beaten (the usual allergic reaction to any situation where I’m supposed to look good). Take a shower, find that my knees are trembling.
8.15 breakfast at Fazer’s. Try to balance eating ‘anything that makes me feel better’ (apple pie and fresh strawberries – the latter, together with the sofas and quiet surroundings really are a reason for eating the breakfast at Fazer’s) and ‘things that are healthy for me’ (Müsli and yoghurt with Gefilus-things). Finish writing the introductory talk while eating brie and grapes. No coffee, since my hands are already shaking. Find out that the dissertation is not announced in Hesari as it should, don’t care.
9.15 On my way to the hairdresser (Hani at Image Hair) I decide it’s time for some pharmacology. 10 mg of propranolol, a wide-range betablocker. Hani tries to ask me something about what kind of do I want, I just tell her I trust her completly and stop thinking.
10.30. In a taxi to Viikki. The hair and face are done, and the betablockers have started to hit in. I realise then that my stomach and legs feel rather uneasy. The last thing I read? Cosmopolitan’s latest issue.
11.40 I meet the opponent in the Custos’ office. Everybody tries to calm me down. I concentrate on not reaking my ankles on the shoes. Once got stuck in a metal grid in the floor outside the main doors. We go through the order of things, who walks first, I must always stand if the Opponent stands, etc. The Custos tells us to take a visit to the bathrooms. I Find out that I can not fit everything in my purse, and throw away the phone.
12.07 We start walking towards the other end of the building. Fortunately we can make use of the secret underground passages, otherwise we would not make it in time and I’d trip on my high heels in the construction site for sure. I keep talking of some other things, like my sister working at L’Oreal.
12.15 I step into the auditorium – the last thing I hear from Mr. Custos is ‘take it slow’. Try to look dignified, or noble, or pretty – or anything but horrified.
I hate now how I forgot my speech completly and had to read it from the paper. Once I got the rythm down but then I noticed my very, very dear friend and mentor, Geza Szilvay, in the audience, and I swear tears rose to my eyes and I felt choking. For a moment. And kept reading. I had no idea whether the microphone was working, but tried not to care. I was talking too fast and without any breaks – much worse than the big 45 min lecture I had in September. Of well. Next time, Gadget.
Several times during the ‘debate’, I felt my neck hairs stand up as the Opponent opened his questions – but, almost every time he finally posed the question in such a way I could just calmly answer it. Several times I did not know what he is going after, but also managed to keep the ‘excuse me what do you mean by that’ down and just started talking about something related. And, twice I reverted to bluffing – talking about things I really did not know but just could not make the confession that I would not remember those things about the CCCs. When in doubt, smile, change the pose, worry if I’ve ruined the stockings under the table. Sometimes when I threw an eye on my boss sitting in the audience, I saw him looking rather if not very annoyed and almost bored.
But then suddenly it was over, and again I had to blink my eyes so that I would not cry, when listening to the final statement. I actually was not really listening anymore, at least I don’t remember hearing anything but the last words.
Later, all the roses and congratulations and even the Boss seemed genuinely pleased (even though he just got married the night before…). The dinner – extravagant, and lofty, and again speeches that just make me blush and lose words. For a while I was completly absorbed by admiring the sparkling reflection of candles in the sauce on the ‘Grilled carré and liver of veal’. And the evening at Engel’s. Could not help crying in the evening, for having such good and dear friends.
Crash bang boom – big bada boom! Leeloo has a multipass now.