May 23, 2016

Desire

So, we're supposed to reflect everyday.  In fact, the name of my first doctoral course is "Reflective Practice Seminar."  Specifically, the course requires us to reflect on "past and current work experiences in adult education used as a basis for systematic reflection on practice," and this is my first of such reflections.

We just spent three intense days getting to know our cohort (of 12), our faculty, and the concept of Action Research.  Two days later, I am left with he deep abiding sense that I am incredibly fortunate. I am at peace with the decision that I now know I did not make alone.

For the past 3-4 years, I have been "searching" -- that is indeed the word -- "searching" for a doctoral program.  I kept returning to the Doctorate in Learning, Leadership, and Organization Development at the University of Georgia.  I now know that it is as Marianne Williamson says the thing calling me to it.  That is the nature of desire.  We only truly desire things that are meant to be ours.  It is a symbiotic relationship - desire.  We yearn for the thing, because the thing is calling us to yearn for it.   

I even engaged in a bit of self-sabotage during the admissions process.  A week after the admissions deadline had passed, I was sure I had sufficiently blown off the whole pursuit.  That is until I received an email from the admissions team to schedule my graduate interview.  This couldn't be, I thought.  I missed the application deadline.  I returned to the admissions website to find that the deadline had been extended for another 30 days.  Although the interview went well, I was still convinced that "I wouldn't get in."  My imposter syndrome securely in tact, I just knew they would see my terrible Math GRE score and say, "Nope.  Not that one."  So imagine my shock and awe when the acceptance letter arrived.  After a few days of feeling pretty damn good about myself, I started to sink back into the familiarity of self doubt.  "Maybe they made a mistake," I convinced myself.

So, it wasn't until Day 3 of the three-day retreat that an overwhelming sense of belonging washed over me.  We meditated and did breathing exercises and shared stories and cried until I realized, once and for all, that I really am good enough -- intellectually fit enough, tough enough, smart enough, and committed enough to pursue and complete the highest degree in the land. All of my life, every step of the way, God has been leading me to this point.  This is the beginning of my destiny fulfilled.  And for the first time in my professional life, I know that this is where I belong, and I am at peace.  I feel completely capable of overcoming all of the challenges along the way because this doctorate is already mine.