The first year is done and I have to admit I am feeling pretty proud of myself (hence the quote in the photo). I had a wonderful semester and although I still have to turn in my final paper for my literature review class I am not dreading it nor is it hanging over my head. I have completed it and stepped away from it for a while, and I will look at it again on Sunday then submit it. One thing that I learned this semester that was wonderful to get so early on in this program was that the things I am doing in class are for me. It is no longer about the grades (though they matter) it is about getting the most out of my professors, my peers, my experience in my program. It is about me and my work and I have to utilize every resource afforded to me to produce the best research that I can while I am here. Its stretched me.
I asked Nama how she was doing today and she said, "I am stretching and expanding with life." I thought what a perfect illustration for this place us twenty something young professionals are doing right now. I see myself and my work as being much bigger than I anticipated. I have found myself dabbling in teaching and entertaining the idea of not working in administration. I have even thought about not working in higher education and tossing my skill set to the corporate world. I guess I just see the infiniteness and rather than it feeling daunting or overwhelming it is starting to feel exciting.
I cannot believe that this time last year I was graduating with my Masters degree and stressed over how I was going to find the money to get to San Diego. It all worked out though. As it always always always does. I was telling my Department Chair, who is also my advisor, why I have decided to pursue spirituality in leadership as my dissertation topic. I told her I wanted to understand the intuitive influences in decision making and she asked how it was personally relevant to me. I told her my story of the last year and how the decisions I made were illogical and impractical yet felt so incredibly right that I had to listen to them. I explained to her that when my life talks to me I have learned to listen because if I ignore it for too long it begins to yell.
If I had to sum up the first year of my doctoral program in one year I would choose: immersion. I am in it. There was no tip toe-ing there was not an easing in, we fell into the deep in of the pool and as my head breaks the water my lungs are stronger, my vision is adjusting and I am okay. I'm not looking for land or anyone to rescue me, I am here in this vast body and I am surviving in it, with it. One done.