Knowing When to Walk Away

Saturday, June 06, 2015

I decided to transfer to another school for my doctoral program. Class began this week. I am amazed at the abundance of resources.  I am excited about being given the opportunity to finish what I started.  Transferring to another school was definitely bittersweet. However, my desire to be treated fairly outweighed the bittersweetness.  This thought brings me to the realization that you must know when enough is enough.  You cannot base this knowledge on what is enough for someone else, but what is enough for you and only you.  Everyone had an opinion about me transferring, just like everyone had an opinion about me getting a divorce. However, I am the only person to have to deal with the consequences.  People need to realize that when they decide to walk away, it is their decision and their decision alone.

Since I started the doctoral journey in 2011, I have gained doctor bills, lost my gallbladder, along with a tumor on my liver, gained and lost weight, lost my hair, which was disguised under my wigs, and questioned my intellectual competence.  There are only so many times a student can hear that their work is garbage or the threat of failure.  The immense stress tied to completing this program was felt not only by me, but by my friends and family, especially my children. I was always writing or studying. I distinctively remembering sitting in the emergency room with a sick child, trying to type a paper because the professor refused to accept my work late, despite how ill my child was.

After the horrible experience during my oral exams, I dropped every class that I was taking.  When I did this, I felt so relieved.  Ironically, now my hair has grown back.  I no longer have any bald spots. My hair is not falling out in clumps in the shower.  I have watched hours of tv with my children. They have participated in activities that were once on the back burner.

This journey at my new school will definitely be different.  Subsequently, my priorities are different. After giving everything and every second to my first school, the end result was no degree.  So, this time I am going to balance work, school, and family.

By walking away, I still have my son.  After the stress from the oral exams, I almost bled to death for two days straight.  He is due in September.  By walking away, I have my self-respect.  I didn't have to choose been ethics and morality to obtain a PhD. By walking away, I did not have the support of people that meant the world to me. However, the people, who would be directly affected by my decision, supported me.  By walking away, I regained confidence in my intellectual competence.  By walking away, I was given a new start to achieve exactly what I wanted to achieve. By walking away, I understand how important faith is.

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