The dissertation is done. I wrote it early in the morning and after supper, pockets of time dedicated to corralling my ideas into words. I was a preschool teacher by day and found such comfort in my classroom. We sang and prayed, painted and gardened, played and counted. There was a rhythm to our days and I never questioned my purpose - I wanted to be that teacher who is remembered years later for cultivating kindness and curiosity.
I wrote words upon words, some deleted in frustration, others with a sheepish apology. The culmination of my years in graduate school, I saw myself in those words, no matter how many times I reminded myself that I am not my dissertation. Yet what is the art without the artist? I knew, however, that Committee would read my words. Preferring to be my harshest critic, I wrote in that tense space between detached objectivity and fierce wholeheartedness. It was exhausting.
What will it feel like to write daily words again? Unlike my dissertation, I can ponder without evidence and ask questions without answers. It is time to treat my words with a sense of reverence, giving them space to breathe and simmer. Let this month be one without fear - of criticism, of falling short of my own expectations.