How many times do you let yourself think back to the past? I know there are MANY days I think back and try to find a day I was not suffering…that memory is getting harder and harder to find. Especially now that I have not been pain-free is so long, the ability to wake up with out pain …seems impossible. It could happen one day (hopefully) but that is not what caught my memories tonight.

I was driving home from my doctoral classes and I realized….the one thing I had always wanted to do….I am doing! Do you ever have one of those moments? I remember thinking back to when I was a junior in college….and the one thought I had was …I want to have a PHD/EDD. I remember going through the GRE testing and getting so frustrated because my scores were not what I wanted. I remember having SO many conversations about getting into a PHD program. I was young, somewhat naive (probably still am) and in those days….I could not wait to be a doctoral student. When I would meet a doctoral student I would hang onto every word. My hero’s were those who had what I wanted…a doctorate degree.

I remember the day last November when I got an email about interviewing for my program. I could not believe I had made the cut! Then I interviewed and AMAZINGLY enough, I got accepted!! My dream was coming true! The Spring seemed like a dream…I was sitting in doctoral classes. This summer I think reality started to sink in! The reality that I have to write a dissertation (for years saying that was unreal…now it is 100% real). I’m reading through some of the toughest books and writing some of the toughest papers of my life. My doctoral program is real to me in more ways. And then the questions comes….can I do this? Will my body hold up for this?

It has become “normal” to be up until 1-3a.m. or later depending on the day. It has become normal to “think” about so many things and to plan/research on my topic. This will be my “new” life for the next so many years until this program is done.  But the good thing is today I can still picture walking across the stage and finishing! I still have that pushing me to finish…and I hope I never lose that hope. I need a drive (any one completing a doctoral program needs a drive) and I need support. Not only support from people who understand my daily pain (and torture) but also people who care enough to keep me going.

Thankfully my memories are not only of wanting to get into a PHD program but I also have many memories of some great encouragers. I hope you all have people in your life that are encouraging you! Trust me I could not do it alone!

 Tonight (this am) I am off to bed but I am thankful that I have some awesome memories! I am thankful that I am living a dream. I am thankful I am not alone in my pain. I am thankful that people try to understand. And I am thankful that I can share living with my pain and living my life. I hope it encourages someone out there 🙂

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