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It’s over

It’s been two months since I successfully defended my Ph.D. I’ve been nagging myself to write some really insightful post giving meaning to my experience and encouraging others to pursue their dreams. I don’t know, something appreciative and pleasant that would tie together the last three and a half years. That way those heroes in my life who took up the nasty job of encouraging me along the way could find closure and receive my gratitude. I feel guilty, but I’ve been too tired for good insights. My memories are blurry, I guess because each minute of it was so charged with adrenaline, like my life was hanging from it. For three and a half years, it felt like I was on a treadmill, sweaty and gross, getting sharp pains in my side, looking down at the timer to see I had only been running for 8 minutes. It was suffocating. And at times I would trip and fall and bust my lip and be spit onto the floor. Like when my manuscript was sent to our competitors. Or our grant proposal was sent to our competitors. Or when I was told finishing on time would be a “tall order.” Or when I was told I needed to start over the experiment that had me coming into the lab around the clock like a zombie. Crying and dazed after these falls, I would look up to see the treadmill still zooming, and reluctantly I would pull myself up and start hobbling along again. The seconds seemed to expand beyond reason. Eventually I stopped hearing the supportive voices of those around me and could only hear the deafening fog horn of the fear of not finishing. After I finally reached what I considered to be enough, I slammed the red STOP button and slowed to a halt. Breathless. Lifeless. I still feel like the ground is moving below me. My steps feel artificial. Where am I? It doesn’t seem like I’ve arrived anywhere. But I guess it’s over. It is over, right?

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