Tuesday, April 16, 2013

praying for clarity

Big day today... I'm finally defending my dissertation proposal! This was 2 years in the making...when I went through all those hiccups (and emotions) last year, I actually considered quitting. But I'm still here. Still going. So as nerve-wracking as today is, I'm actually quite relieved to be at this stage.

If all goes well, I can officially start my research and maaaaybe get done next year. Collect data this summer, analyze data in the fall, write up my last chapters in the spring, defend and be done. But if there's anything I've learned in this PhD program, it's never such a clear-cut process. If anyone has had a really straightforward experience from point A to point B, I'd love to know that secret.

In the meantime, I need some peace and calm. I get all nervous and jumpy about these things.

If only I can simply transport myself to the ocean, sink my toes in the sand, feel weightless in the water...

But since I can't do that, I'll post a picture instead.

Boracay, Philippines | December 2012

Despite having grown up in the tropics, the clarity of this water never fails to amaze me.

I'm praying for this same clarity right now... and reminding myself that I am absolutely privileged to be in this place. That I can pursue an education and the causes that are important to me, and find solutions to problems in ways that will positively impact issues I care about. I know people sometimes resist this notion of privilege for fear of appearing "high and mighty" or "more-than". On one hand, I think it's because there are those in positions of privilege that use power in the wrong ways or feel automatically entitled to certain things.

On the other hand, I think it's important for me to keep in mind that what I do now, where I am now... while certainly not privileged by way of material wealth or fancy titles (um, I call myself a doctoral slave if that gives you any idea!) - still puts me in a position of being able to change things. To make things better. Even in little ways. And that is a privilege.

One of my mentors said, "teaching is a privilege." It truly is. And so is this. So it's only right that I put forth quality work and strive to be the very best version of myself.

A. always gives me the best pep talks before "big days" like this one. A few minutes ago he said:

"We have a saying in India, 'No one can stop a rising sun.' YOU are a rising sun."

He's amazing like that. I am so incredibly thankful.

And for even more inspiration...

if your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
Image via Pinterest

 P.S. If the last few blog posts were any indication, I've been addicted to "pinning" inspirational words on Pinterest lately...

Pin It!


Jen said...

A. is so wise -- you ARE a rising sun! I'm sure you were dazzling today at your defense, and I hope you are celebrating tonight :)

Mia (Savor Everyday) said...

Hi Jen!
Nice to "see" you here :) I'm not sure about "dazzling", but thank you for the vote of confidence as always!

It went ok - my committee approved (with a few revisions), but overall I am so relieved!

Celebrated last night with ice cream and went to bed earlier than usual (exciting, huh?)

anne said...

i'm so glad you share so much of your life happenings here because i wouldn't want to miss wishing you luck! although i guess i did miss it :-D

i'm so so glad to hear they approved!

anne said...

and i agree with jen, A is so wise! so very supportive and encouraging :-D

oh and all of the second paragraph after the photo - i love!! and this "strive to be the very best version of myself"

Mia (Savor Everyday) said...

Thanks Anne!
Yes... I so love what A. said! Just what I needed to hear at the time. :)

krishwala said...

Better late than never- congrats! Happy to hear phase 1 or 17 is over and you're on the last leg of the race. Wishing you luck and sending love to get through the final stage.

Mia (Savor Everyday) said...

Krishna: Thanks!!!

It's not quiiite the last leg, but I'm getting there!

Thanks again :)

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