Monday, March 29, 2010

Coming Up for Air

When I applied to graduate school, no one mentioned how difficult it would be to balance coursework, a full-time career, my family, and myself.   The past three years have felt surreal.  I didn't realize how engrossed I was in learning and working until I finished my very last course a few days ago.  I was drowning in busyness and I am finally coming up for air.  I can breathe again.  I can do nothing and I can do anything.

I knew that going back to school would be challenging but I didn't realize how much it would consume me.  I felt like I was crazy at times.  For an entire month I cried every evening before being able to start my statistics homework.  I was trapped by own feelings of incompetence and fear.  Tears were my release - they washed away my stressors and gave me the strength that I needed to work. 

When I was involved in very emotional work, my anxieties revealed themselves in my dreams.  I had extremely violent dreams.  They were the kind of dreams that I will never ever forget.  They still linger in my thoughts.  I am certain that even Rob Zombie could not have written a screenplay as disturbing as the visions that haunted me.

Now, other than completing my exit portfolio, I have finished my graduate work.  I feel as though I am reborn.  I don't know what I want to do with my life or where I will end up in five years.  Who really wants to know?  For the first time, I feel like anything is possible, I am inspired to take risks, and I am excited about the unknown.  The confidence and peace that I feel have made the past three years of sacrifice and struggle worthwhile.  I can breathe again and I finally have the time to take everything in.