March 12, 2018
Convocation Countdown: 51 days
External Update: One external, confirmed.
…and just like that, I once again have an external.
Early Friday afternoon I began brainstorming how I was going to deal with the ambiguity moving into the new week. I knew I had done all I could do to move things forward on the external front and the day was feeling eerily like the last two Fridays had been…meaning the morning would begin with an assurance that “we are sure to hear something today” and then silence. So the new plan was I would spend the weekend designing my presentation, get it to a tentative good spot, and then move on. The plan was get everything to a place where, cognitively, I felt something almost like closure.
Then at 4:20 p.m. the fortuitous message came to my inbox. (Yes, this news was indeed the ultimate 420.) Dr. Katy Campbell had confirmed that she was up for it. I may or may not have read the email about fifty times over the next five minutes just to ensure it actually came through…just to ensure it was real.
When I had played out how it would feel to be found by an external, I imagined it would be an adrenaline rush of happy feels and the only logical next step would be to drink all the champagne and generally engage in raucous revelry. In reality, it was much more like being able to finally take deep breadths after you’ve had bronchitis. It was the feeling of setting down a really heavy piece of furniture that you’ve been carrying up a steep flight of stairs. I was deeply happy but I was also more than a little exhausted by the past weeks.
This past weekend I began designing my presentation, though in a slightly different mindset than I anticipated early Friday morning. I also began processing intentionally all that has happened the past couple weeks. It would be easy to shut and lock the door to all the hard stuff. While I know I need to let the painful parts go so I can heal, I don’t want to inadvertently also let go of the things I’ve learned through this experience. Once more…a doctorate is indeed a process about all the things you would never anticipate when you’re an eager applicant.
And so…back to work; hopefully a bit stronger and a bit wiser, and for sure a whole lot more filled with gratitude.