I posted a few weeks ago how I was feeling good. I’m happy to report that I still am. For years I’ve felt like I’ve almost constantly had problems to work on. I’ve focused a lot of energy on personal growth to heal from the wounds from my divorce, and I’ve worked very hard not to carry past mistakes into my current life.
Lately, I haven’t felt like I’ve needed to invest a lot of energy into growth, because it feels like it is coming more naturally. (Because I’m so used to challenge, this actually feels a bit unnatural. I’m rolling with it.) Right now I feel whole. I feel full. I’m not always perfect, but I’m in a place where I can forgive myself when I do less than my best or when I have to do the best I can in a bad situation. I am able to say “thank you” when someone compliments my accomplishments, and “I’m sorry” when I make a mistake. Trite though it may be, all of that leaves me feeling good. I feel like I’m on the right track. I feel like I’m in the zone, or in the flow.
Along with this feeling, I got some nice news on Tuesday. I was awarded the Aylesworth Scholarhip by Florida Sea Grant for the second time. I first won the award in 2012, and I received a certain amount of funding each semester for four semesters to supplement my Teaching Assistant stipend. After the two years (i.e. four semesters), current winners are encouraged to reapply. I did, and they deemed me and my research worthy for continued support through my graduation date of Spring 2015 (fingers crossed for that deadline)!
I’m incredibly grateful for the Aylesworth Foundation, and the Aylesworth’s investment in marine scientists. Graduate school is mentally, sometimes physically, and definitely financially challenging. While I could finish my degree without the Aylesworth Scholarship, I would have more debt and would likely have had to say no to research travel opportunities that became available to me last year (i.e. San Francisco and the Netherlands). Winning this award for the second time, particularly now, helps to emphasize the feeling that I’m on the right track after all, even though I’ve had periods of extreme doubt while working on my doctorate. There are others out there who think me and my work are important enough to invest a substantial amount of money in me.
I’m also incredibly grateful for all of the opportunities I have on my plate right now. I have a book chapter that’s off to the editors. A colleague and I are working on a manuscript that we should be sending off soon. I’m working on a cool paper for my Macroevolution class, that I hope can be published. I’m coordinating a visit with a nationally known speaker. I’m helping plan an Academic Survivorship course. I may end up going to both Puerto Rico and Rennes, France for scientific conferences this summer (fingers crossed!).
I’m busy, but it’s the good kind of busy. I’m doing things that I love and that make me happy. I’ve got a good balance between work and play. I feel like I’m making a difference and gaining some ground with this old Ph.D. thing.
I’m in the flow, and I’m letting it carry me instead of fighting it.
My struggles for personal growth were 100% necessary, and I continue investing energy to ensuring that I don’t back-track into bad habits. But it’s nice to be in a place where I can appreciate my efforts. It’s refreshing to be at the top of the mountain and to be able to stop and enjoy the view. And it’s nice to have people telling me “Good job” while passing me on the mountain path for the various accomplishments I’ve made in my life lately, academic and otherwise.
I’m in the flow, and I’ve had a lot of entries into the gratitude jar lately because of that.