Let’s not spend time talking about how long it’s been since I’ve posted…a while sums it up.
But 2017 so far has seen big changes. So far, biggest of all has been my birthday gift to myself this year: finishing my thesis!
This graduate school pursuit has been 3 years in the making and it finally came to an end when I submitted my thesis today.
When I started graduate school, I had no idea what was in store. I’m first-generation in every sense of the word. Additionally, graduate school is very different from undergrad. I can speak honestly and with experience now knowing that my working and life experience was more useful than my undergraduate experience when it comes to navigating the graduate experience.
In the middle of my time, I decided to take a job promotion. Little did I know (though I was warned by some wise people in my life) that this job would get in the driver’s seat and take over! I love my job so, so much, but I give myself over to it completely, meaning that for too long, my thesis sat on the back burner. I scraped by my last semester of course work, barely surviving. Then left to my own devices, schedule, and motivation to write my thesis, I stalled out.
Part of me will always be frustrated with myself for not balancing things better. But I’m human. I’m mortal. I needed time to grow, learn, and expand my capacity for what is possible. That’s what I did this summer. I expanded my capacity and found out that I am capable of so much more than I was a year ago. I’m stronger, smarter, and more mature.
I needed the support of many wonderful people though. I asked my husband to take on extra so many times and he always rose to the occasion. I am lucky to have such a true partner in my life.
I also got the world’s best pep talk at just the right time. My motivation had ebbs and flows, obviously. But even earlier this summer, I was feeling sorry for myself, unmotivated, and wallowing in my own laziness and self-pity. I started one of the most important text message exchanges of my life. Just chatting about life and my dear, dear friend dropped some serious knowledge on me. To sum up her beautiful words, “It sure won’t be easy, but nothin worth having comes easily. Find your footing and kick some ass.” I’m not sure I’ve ever needed anything more in my life.
I spent the next few weeks managing a hectic work schedule (for summer in our office, hectic is a massive understatement), my husband returning to work, my child transitioning to full-time day camp, and my child hating evening swimming lessons. At the end of the day, I would come home and start writing, sometimes at 9 p.m. It was exhausting but I was determined. I killed myself but it was worth it.
So, happy 34th birthday to me! I’ve given myself the gift of freedom. The gift of wonderful forever friends I made through this experience. The gift of accomplishment. The gift of opportunities!