Getting a doctorate was to date one of the most stressful projects that I have done. I balanced school with multiple jobs, moving across the country, and also trying to have somewhat of a social life. My dissertation class was a Pass/Fail format and there were a few times where I didn’t know if I would pass the class for the quarter. I would plan to get a lot of things accomplished every quarter and it would be so difficult to stay focused and write in the fact of competing priorities. It was the end of year four and and I hit a wall. I was tired of looking at a computer screen, reading articles, trying to sound intelligent, and keeping up with discussion posts. I don’t know what the final straw was but I was done. I wanted to quit so badly because it was just too hard. But one thing that I remember was the fact that I had spent so much time, energy and money that not completing would be a complete waste. Not to mention the fact that I would still owe money in student loans. I realized that I was getting in my own way because I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do next after I finished. I knew that I wanted to teach but I had no idea about what the next steps would be. I was sabotaging my own progress because I had a fear of the unknown. Once I figured it out everything made a lot more sense. I gave myself permission to finish without knowing for sure what I would do afterwards. After this realization the road got a lot smoother. I finally started to get the approvals that I needed and things started coming together. Within a year and some change I successfully defended my dissertation. I say all this to say that a fear of the unknown keeps a lot of people from their potential. It paralyzes them from taking the next step because there are no guarantees. But in life there aren’t any do-overs. We have one shot to get it right and it only makes sense to give our dreams 110%. Go hard or go home.
One thing that I’m working on this year is becoming more organized. I function in a state of organized chaos. I say chaos because looking in from the outside, one would never guess that the mess is organized. As someone who enjoys being busy, I am often involved in numerous small projects at once. Being in school adds another additional level of responsibilities as my classes are getting harder and it takes more time to actually complete assignments. While I’m perfectly content “B”-ing my way through the program, I want to start to apply myself more. BUT lately I’ve been doing better at managing time. It’s always nice to know that I’m being somewhat productive and working my way towards some goals that I have. There’s a lot that needs to happen this year according to my five year plan. One of the things that I like when I’m working with clients is when they have a plan as to what they want to do. I also like hanging out with people who know what they want out of life. Someone once said that we are the average of the top five people we spend the most time with. One of the things that I’m studying is how we are influenced by other people. All that being said, it’s good to hang out with organized and ambitious people because characteristics like that tend to rub off. Definitely the plan for this year. Carpe diem!