I have shed a few tears in the past year thinking about starting my doctoral work.
Last June, after I took the GMAT and didn’t get the score I was hoping for, I cried right in the middle of eating chicken shwarma at Parsley with Ben. I thought my journey had ended before it had even started, and that I was out for the count. But I moved past the initial disappointment, threw my geometry book in the trash, and decided to apply anyway.
I cried in the middle of writing my application essays, snotty sobs that covered my pillow as I contemplated whether to keep plugging away at the reasons why I should be accepted or to just go hide in my closet.
I cried into Ben’s shoulder two days after getting the syllabi for my first two classes, when I realized that all of the 50+ articles we were supposed to read had already been tracked down by other people in my cohort and uploaded to a dropbox folder. I had not even opened the word document yet, and felt like I was already behind the curve.
I cried more ugly tears as I drove down I-69 S yesterday, my neck throbbing from the hours I had spent hunched over a computer the last several weeks and my heart back with my family. And I’m sure there are more to come, as I push through this marathon-shaped adventure over the next half-dozen years or so.
But then there is this quote I love from C.S. Lewis. “Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.” (The Silver Chair)
There it is. I have to get to the end of the ugly tears and decide what to do.
I choose to thrive. To risk not being the smartest or the most accomplished. To trust that it is important for my kids to see me doing something that is big and significant. To not worry about what I don’t know, but to focus on what it is I can learn. To enjoy the learning process. To put on my big girl pants and get over myself. To look for ways to humbly help others, reflecting Christ’s example.
I also reserve the right to cry some ugly tears on occasion too. It only seems fair.