Closing a Chapter

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Last week, I closed one of the most life-changing chapters of my life. Over the last two years, I have traveled to San Francisco twelve times – each time learning so much, my brain would hurt; laughing harder than I could ever imagine; and (more often than not) being moved to tears out of love, compassion, frustration or exhaustion. After finishing my final paper, the most rigorous portion of this PhD program is behind me.

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As excited as I am to have more time to dedicate to other important aspects of my life, my heart is simply broken knowing I won’t be seeing the faces of my cohort every six weeks or so. This PhD program has undoubtedly been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and I would do it all again just to be able to spend more time with my professors and cohort – humans I am beyond lucky to call my friends.

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One of my favorite Judith Butler quotes illuminates so well how I feel we are (rightfully) impacted by the most meaningful relationships in our lives. It reads, “Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something.” I cannot express the level of gratitude in my heart for these people who have shown me what it means to embody unconditional love, fierce compassion, and sheer brilliance in the way they live their lives. Most of all, their ability and desire to hold space for the messiness that is me in my growth and the pure love they’ve shown to me over the past two years has meant more to me than anything I could ever imagine. There is no doubt it has been my much needed undoing.

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