Sunday, August 25, 2013

Keep Calm and Carry On: خلاص

For those of you who don't speak Arabic (and I expect that's pretty well all of you), that title is pronounced "khalas", and it's Arabic for "finished" or "complete". When I was in the Middle East, I knew it, and was somewhat surprised that it was one of the very small handful of Arabic words that everyone seemed to have picked up - that, and مشكلة/"mushkila"/"problem" - but that's another story).

Tomorrow, Monday (or Tuesday at the latest, depending on when I can get it printed - apparently Monday's a bank holiday), I'll submit my dissertation. That will complete the required coursework for my MSc in Strategic Studies. So, that's it. It's all over. It's خلاص.

At that point, I'll spend two weeks settling my affairs in Aberdeen, spending a few final evenings with some great friends whom I've been fortunate to meet since last September, pack up my stuff, and...

... And what? Actually, it's more along the lines of "طيب, خلاص. ماذا الآن؟" - "Okay, finished. What now?"

As I mentioned way back in the beginning, I've been planning Operation Highlander since 2010, and I've been executing Operation Highlander for over a year now. I executed Operations Carnivore and Cobalt as enabling actions for Highlander. Nearly four years of my life have been spent pursuing this goal, and now it's complete. That completion brings with it a great feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. Now that it's over, I'm left with a vague sense of what the next three or four months will entail, and no idea what will happen after that. As I noted a couple of weeks ago, it leaves me nervous. I'm a planner, I'm someone who doesn't go from one thing to another without a plan, and for the course of the next few months to be so vague pushes me outside of my comfort zone.

So, what am I going to do? Well, I'm going to keep that to myself for the time being. I have a plan, and I'll continue sorting a few things out in the next couple of weeks. I have some projects I want to work on in the interim months, but I'll get into more detail about in time.

1 comment:

  1. Tom, I know it is not needed, but Good Luck on the results of your finished dissertation!