Friends,  Reflection

1 Year

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I was reminded this morning that today is the one-year anniversary of completing my Ph.D. (thanks, Sharon!)  Wow.  What a year it has been…

My number one feeling is still relief.  Relief that it is done.  Relief that I don’t have to do it or worry about it any more.  Relief that it is over and in the past.

I feel like I’m still in the process of trying to find myself again, post Ph.D.  Apparently, this is a pretty normal struggle.  Despite all of the chaos of 2020, I made huge strides throughout the year.  It is truly amazing to me, despite or maybe in spite of all that happened in 2020, I have felt so much happier.

Finishing the Ph.D. was truly like a pile of bricks being lifted off my shoulders.  Suddenly my brain was clear (well… more clear… three kids still make it fuzzy at times! ;)) and I could think again.  I’ve been able to do so many things since I finished that I just didn’t have time to do during that season of my life — meal planning and cooking (I wouldn’t have made it through 2019 without Cheryl helping with the house, kids, and meals — she saved me!), connecting on social media in new ways, writing (hi!), exercising nearly daily, reading, and spending so much more quality time with Mike and the trio.  I’ve had the brain space to touch base and connect with friends – old and new.  I’ve had time to think about and reflect on what I want my future to be – instead of just trying to survive each day.  I feel like 2020 was a year of slowly watching the light come back into my eyes…

I had already decided not to walk in graduation, but COVID sealed that deal.  I do have regalia in my closet downstairs – complete with my fancy Ph.D. hat (i.e. Doctoral Tam), that I haven’t even tried on.  Maybe one of the trio will want to be a Professor for Halloween one year…

I received my diploma and it is hanging behind me on the wall.  But otherwise, I’ve done absolutely nothing with this degree — and I’m 100% okay with it.  I didn’t utilize my MA when I first achieved it either, but eventually it led me down the right path — and I have no doubt that this will be the same.

Even if I never use the degree in the traditional sense, the process of obtaining it and what I learned along the way has shaped me into who I am today.  While it still seems a bit insane to have a Ph.D. and decide to own a travel agency — I’m happy.  Still happy, even after it was a horrible year for travel.  And as I age I’m finding that is what is important – happiness, time to be with the people I love, and to do the things I want to do…   I would have never dreamed of the journey the last 10 years would take me on — but here I am.

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