Oxford High Street
17 years on, and I still have nightmares about it – that I’m about to take my finals and I’m totally unprepared. Not so different from the reality of 1989 – I wouldn’t have had a chance had it not been for the efforts of some fine friends who during that last stressful term would sit me down with a packet of chocolate Hobnobs as an incentive, and cram my head full of the bare minimum required to scrape through my law exams.
You might have thought I’d be over it by now, but the stress has clearly left its scars.
By contrast, when the exams ended the feeling of elation (coming shortly before a feeling of being extremely drunk) was incomparable.
I suppose I’d hoped for a similar feeling of elation and release from stress when I finished the Atlantic row, but I didn’t – probably something to do with the fact that I already knew I was going to attempt the Pacific. While that is on the horizon there can be no let-up.
Why am I always chasing something more? Will I ever be satisfied? Will I ever again experience that feeling of closure, relief, completion, unburdenment (is that a word?)? Or will I always be planning the Next Big Adventure?
Who knows. For now, I can live with it. They say that you only stop learning just after you stop breathing. I hope the same doesn’t apply to adventuring. One day, a few years down the line, I’d like to start doing my learning a less strenuous way.