Friday, September 28, 2012

Dear Beloveds

Dear beloveds,

Deep down, I do know that, God willing, I'll "do just fine" on all the tasks remaining between me and the PhD I'm working toward. Barring unforeseen calamity, I will get there. However, the path is not without stress and worry.

You do not help me when you respond to my stress by dismissing it. When I take the long view, I have confidence about my ability to complete the whole project, but when I am in the throes of a single task with a short deadline, as now with a prospectus defense in mid-October, that one task consumes me, worries me, and stresses me out. When I tell you how I am feeling, I need you to not dismiss it. Remind me to get enough sleep, remind me to take a walk, remind me to pray, remind me that you believe in me, but don't tell me I have nothing to worry about.

I know that you love me and you think I'm brilliant. You might even be right. However, in my community of scholars, I'm nothing special. No one gets here without being brilliant, and when one is surrounded by brilliance, remaining shiny requires effort. When I worry about ridiculous things (being late, running out of cat food, whether my shoes match my sweater), I keep it to myself. If I'm telling you about my stress, please believe that it's warranted. 

I love you, too,