Can you have your cake and eat it too?

I know it seems obvious that beginning a PhD is not for the faint hearted, otherwise everyone would have one, but is it possible to do one and enjoy having a life? (Perhaps I’ve answered my question about why not everyone has a PhD!)

After an aborted attempt at a PhD in Art History 13 years ago, I swore I would never attempt one again. A culmination of lack of direction and underdeveloped research skills, saw me reading for 5 months with an increasing realisation that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I felt like I was devoting all my time to researching something that I was not sure I even wanted to know more about.

Now that I am a little older and wiser, I find myself again consumed in thinking and reading about a topic night and day, but this time it’s different. This time I’m different.

This second time around, I’ve chosen my cake more carefully. As my palate is more refined, I’ve been more picky in the dessert that I’ve chosen. I’m also more mature and can choose something I like and not what others tell me is popular. And let’s face it- if you’re going to be eating the same dessert for 3 years, it better be something YOU like!

Of course knowing yourself is an important ingredient in any undertaking, but so is attitude. While to some degree our character is fixed, our attitudes are not. I loved The Thesis Whisperer’s recent post on My thesis is a cupcake, not a dragon. It reminds me that it’s all about how we choose to see it- life, the universe, PhDs, anything!

So I plan to devour this PhD with gusto (I promise that is my last dessert based pun), and if you should catch me complaining please remind me that my PhD is a Black Forest cherry chocolate cake.

Creative commons Atrribution

‘Black Forest Cake’ by Vegan Feast Catering. at


2 thoughts on “Can you have your cake and eat it too?

  1. ‘Scwarwaelderkirschtorte muss man eigentlich geniessen’

    Literally: ‘A black forest gateau must one apparently enjoy’

    Real: ‘How could you not enjoy a black forest gateau?’

    I reckon, a phd,* when viewed as such a culinary classic, can be something to savour rather than fight against.

    Long live your cherry-choc tinted glasses.

    I think it’s a very brave way to see a cake and I commend you for it.

    If I can help in any way, let me know.

    Ps By the way, did you know spell check has an opinion on the popularity of phds, too… Replaced very aptly with the what the masses do instead–pjs, ha, ha.

    Liked by 1 person

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