Two weeks ago, I defended my doctoral dissertation. Four days ago, I submitted said dissertation and fulfilled the final requirement for my doctorate. Today, I'm finally feeling the weight that has lifted.
Beyond the relief, excitement, and pride that come from accomplishing this milestone, I have been overwhelmed by the love shown by my friends and family in the years, months, and weeks leading up to, and on, April 11th. I am grateful to my mentors who have given me invaluable opportunties to learn outside the classroom and to go well beyond my own education to educate others and to contribute to research within and beyond the borders of our country.
Thank you to all of you who e-mailed, texted, and showed up--online and in person--to support me through my defense. I am beyond thankful for the family, friends, classmates, and colleagues who have enriched my life and brought a smile to my face during the years leading up to now. As April 11th approached, I was honestly surprised by the number of individuals who expressed interest in attending my defense and, on that day, I was overcome by the number of amazing individuals I have been blessed with in my life who have shown up for me time and time again.
(For anyone who was not able to attend in person or online, I do have a recording of the defense that I am happy to share for those interested and willing to watch the 2+ hour shindig 😊)