Fulfilling Dreams and Lacking Time
You know the saying ”Life happens when you have other plans”?
Well, it sure did happen. Which is why you haven’t received the Inspirational Short Stories newsletter you subscribed to for such a long time.
There I was, happily writing my little stories to Inspirational Short Stories, fulfilling a dream of writing. I spent enjoyable moments inventing and writing little stories with a positive message and intended to keep at it.
Then another dream of mine raised its head. I had always loved anything to do with ancient Egypt - but I had to work full time, I could not leave my job and study Egyptology at a university which would have been in another city altogether - and most likely abroad, even (there wasn’t much of an option of Egyptology studies here where I live). I have to work for a living, so studying during day time was not an option.
Once I was arranging my numerous Egyptology books in a shelf (there must have been only about
a hundred then), when the thought hit me. This day and age - surely it would be possible to study online?
Once the idea arose, it would not leave me alone, and soon I found myself writing to English universities, inquiring if any of them would have such an option. Several inquiries and negative answers later I stood again in front of my bookshelf and wondered how to go about the whole project. I decided to count the Egyptology authors - and contact the author whose books dominated my bookshelf.
That someone happened to be Joyce Tyldesley. I searched for her on the net, and found out she was at the University of Manchester. I contacted the university, asking if she would have an email address I could write to.
She did. And I wrote to her, asking if she would know of university level online Egyptology teaching. I wanted serious academic education. Her answer: she was teaching such a course. Certificate in Egyptology, originally established by
Professor Rosalie David at the Faculty of Life Sciences. Only I contacted Joyce in October, and the course started only once a year, on 1st October. I could apply for the next course in June next year.
I spent those months studying my Egyptology books, applied - and was accepted.
I was stunned. I was accepted to study Egyptology at the University of Manchester! After a few moments of repeating this-can’t-be-true I yelled and jumped up and down and knew that was one of the top moments of my life.
And this is where I no longer had much time for Inspirational Short Stories. The studies would have been a full time job in themselves, but as it was I used my evenings, my weekends, and even my coffee breaks at work to keep up. I was researching, writing essays, watching recorded lectures, participating in student forum discussions, reading reading and reading… and loving every second of it. And in July 2012 I received my Certificate in Egyptology.
I sat there in row with students from all over the world - Malaysia, Argentina, Canada, Australia… and many more. And when my name was called, I could barely restrain myself from doing the happy dance when I walked to the front and received my Certificate. I don’t think I have ever been more proud of anything I had achieved.
My studies did not stop there - they had arranged for the very first Diploma in Egyptology course. I applied and was among the twenty students that were accepted. Two more years of even harder studies. And in 2014 I stood in Manchester again at the award ceremony, holding the Diploma in my hand. I was joyful, but also a little sad.
You see those last two years were not easy. My father had suffered from cancer for years, and his condition worsened fast. In October 2013 he passed away. My whole family was all exhausted by the experience. I am so glad my brother, who lives abroad, had a chance to come and visit us while father was
still alive. He had his chance to thank my father for everything. He brought my niece, his oldest child, already an adult, with him - she had always been very close to her grandpa.
They left exactly a week before my father died. With his last strength my father visited us, after been given the ok from the hospital doctors - my husband and my brother basically carried him up the stairs to our home and he had no strength, shaking with exhaustion, and mostly lay on the sofa. When the time came for him to say goodbye to my niece, he said:
”It may be a long time before we meet again, dear, I am a little ill, you see.”
I am sure we all held back tears, but no one showed that we all knew those were his final goodbyes to her, and to my brother.
I immersed myself in my studies, they helped in continuing with life. And yes, after so many years of cancer, and the agonising last few months, knowing the end might come any day, it was a relief
also now that his suffering was over.
And then an amazing thing happened. When the long wait for the inevitable end of my father’s illness was over, I got an amazing surge of energy and did something I had planned and even started many times, but never managed to finish.
I wrote a book. A 600-page book. At the same time I was writing my final essays for the Diploma. Looking back I cannot understand how I could have so much energy.
I had developed the story line for years already. And now, I sat by my computer and wrote it all in four months. It simply poured out of me. I had a good friend, an author herself, who happens to be an editor as well, and she helped me edit it. Not once, not twice, but three times. And now it is basically done, we are only tweaking the chapter names at this stage. I plan to publish it as an ebook after New Year.
It is a fantasy book, a first in a series, but not a book of elves, giants, dwarfs and
dragons. It is about human mythology - and yes, it happens partly in ancient Egypt, and ancient Greece as well. No one who knows me will be surprised by that.
I shall publish the info about the book on Inspirational Short Stories and on my blog at http://leenamaria.com (where I write about my writing process and my books). You, being on my Inspirational Short Stories newsletter list, may get a chance to read it for free (though it certainly is not a short story). I would greatly appreciate your help in reading and reviewing the book, so follow my site and blog for more info.
So there you have it. The story of my life for the last five years.
I do understand that because you have not heard from me for a long while, you may not wish to remain on this newsletter list. You can unsubscribe at any time.
And those of you who choose to stay - thank you! It has been quite a journey for me to come this far, and I would love to journey
further with you.
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Leena Maria is an Egyptologist and a writer. On Inspirational Short stories she writes inspirational short stories that uplift the reader. You will find her stories and positive attitude tips at https://www.inspirational-short-stories.com and information about her books and writing process at
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