Friday, August 23, 2013

Just Keep Swimming

Long term goals are hard to keep up with.  It is so easy to walk away from a project that you know you won't finish in one sitting or in one year.  By the time I graduate with my PhD in May, I will have been in graduate school for 8 years.  That is one major long term goal that I'm checking off the list.  A good friend in grad school once told me that a PhD is a degree in literacy and persistence.  I completely agree.  Yes, I set short term goals for myself, mostly because I feel better when I have boxes to check off.  I feel more accomplished.  

Intellectually, I know that getting a PhD is impressive, but I regularly forget it.  I'm remembering now more, since I'm no longer surrounded by my fellow PhD students and professors all the time.  Getting a PhD isn't for everyone.  Heck, most days I'm not sure it is for me.  Everyone I know with a PhD has at some time felt like they are an imposter and/or like they should be doing something else with their lives.  Existential crises aren't specific to academia, but we certainly have perfected them.  

But I won't be deterred by the overwhelming-ness of it all.  I won't let the long term goal and all the work it will take to get there scare me off.  I will do it.  I will do it.  Instead of the little engine's model of "I think I can," I choose to know I can.  I choose Dory's way of thinking, "Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming.  What do we do?  We just keep swimming."  
Yeah, that's the perfect motto for now.  

On a completely separate note, I'm going to be really sad when the pool closes and we can't go swimming in the afternoons after school any more. 


  1. You are amazing and when you are finished the sense of accomplishment is going to be huge! :)-Ashley

    1. I hope to get over this sense of overwhelming to slide right into accomplishment. We'll see.

  2. Yeah Hillary! I'm working on getting ABD and frequently feel like there's just no point...have to remind myself that the little steps add up.

    1. You can do it Anna! ABD is the place to be and qualifying exams suck. Keep swimming and you'll get there. :-)



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