27 and a PhD

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Monthly Archives: July 2009

Reflections on my 1st week as being a PhD

Well, here I am. It’s been exactly 1 week since I got my degree. All members of my thesis committee signed off and I still need to revise the last 2 thesis chapters, but overall, I’m done.

My mom and BF are in town. But for whatever reason things aren’t going as “perfect” as I thought they would. My mom sometimes interrupts my BF to talk. My BF and my mom are very polite, but for whatever reason she just interrupts, doesn’t apologize and my BF just puts his head down, kind of defeated by it. My BF says I need to talk to my mom, since this is not the only display of weird behaviour. My mom is very critical of me. I know she loves me, and she wants what’s best for me, but sometimes it gets to a point where I feel like I will explode if I don’t say something.

The day of my thesis my mom could not be happier for me. She was shining with joy and pride. I’m the first person in my family to hold a PhD. I never “strayed” from my goal, and 22 years later, here I am holding a degree from a prestigious US institution that has broken my heart and spirit many times. But I’m no quitter, and I endured the slaps to my self esteem and soul to get to where I’m at. So at church the other day I had this friend who said so very many times how proud she is of me. I said thanks a few times, but after a little while it was getting kind of repetitive. When we said our goodbyes my mom was quick to point out that I had not said thanks to her remarks (when I did, my BF and another friend can bear witness). Things like that have been going on all through the week.

I’m physically and mentally exhausted. Yet everyday I come to work as usual because I need to start with the corrections and revisions to my thesis. My move to Canada is planned for the end of this month. My mommy goes back home on the soon, leaving me little time to pack, clean and get on my way with the BF. I have to take care of several things, including changing the name of the owner on the title of my car (my car is paid off, THANK GOD), I need to take kitty to the vet for shots and documents to say that she’s healthy and will not mess up Canada when she enters.

I’m tired of the stress, of coming here to “work”, of enduring criticism by my own family. I’m tired of thinking about how I’ll pay for the 22k I’ve run up in debt trying to cheer myself up and live up the american dream (I have a good paying job in Canada, but it will take a while to get paid, we move to a new place in about a month and there are things to be bought and sold, packed, dumped, or donated). Most of all I feel like sleeping, like going to sleep and not wake up for a few days, or if I do just veg out.

I love my mom, my BF and my family and I know that their comments are out of love, concern for how they used to think of me when I was living with them (especially my parents). I’m grown up now. I have not lived in my parents house in over 6 years. I’d love to sleep in the same bed with the BF, but since our parents’ generation sees that as wrong because we are not married, we cannot do it.

I’m tired of pretending, of covering up who I am because I need to keep up this image of a “good”, conservative, christian girl. I’m a really good person (even though I do not agree with some views of the Faith/Church I go to/profess), I’d love to get married, someday, but now right at this second, I’m a liberal person. Yet I have to hide my true-self so others don’t get mad, sad or disheartened by my choices, but the way I’ve chosen to live my life, which makes ME happy.

It’s interesting to have the degree, but ALL I want to do is sleep.

30 Things to do Before 30 – Finish my PhD

It is with an enormous amount of happiness and relief that I report the completion of my PhD. Well, at least the public and private defenses are over. Now I have ~ 1 week worth of changes and some writing to do for the paper that we hope to submit soon regarding the last thesis aim. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

Not too much excitement appears to come out of my mind, body or soul. I’m just so very tired. My eyes are dead-shut and I just want to take a break. But in a few more weeks I hope to report the completion of 2 more things: relocation to Canada and selling/donating a lot of extra stuff I have.

I’ll update later how the defense went down. But it’s enough to say that it’s over now.

Must run to edit and change the things my committee wants to see changed.

Stress helps me spend the money I don’t have and need to move

So, next week I’ll defend my PhD thesis. I’ve been telling myself, and my friends, family and boyfriend that I’m fine. Sometimes I even believe it myself … but I’m scared shitless and I can’t believe that the defense date is almost here.

Like some others who turn to food for comfort, I turn myself into a buying machine, when stressed. I cannot begin to describe the rush I get. It’s like a drug. And with the excuse of having my 28th b-day this weekend, my thesis coming up, my BF’s b-day coming up too and my thesis, and my thesis again, that I’m shopping like a maniac.

I should get a good hold of myself since I’ll be moving in ~ 2 weeks. Thinking of every single thing I need to pack, sell (not being very successful on that one, ugh!), donate or throw away should move me away from buying. At least I’m not using my credit cards. I got really scared this last cycle because I went over the limit for 3 friggin’ dollars since a monitoring service I had signed up for (and then called to cancel) had not been canceled and I was charged for it. I called them and fixed everything, and tried to move money from my bank to my CC account but that takes at least a day and this was on a weekend. I was also close to the limit on my bank’s overdraft protection thing, so I had to do some scary maneuvers to avoid being hit with double overdraft/overspend charges. This goes to show you how stressed I am. Luckily I’m paying off that CCard and hopefully next year I’ll be able to close it.

I went today to the mall with a friend and almost bought a dress for 99$. Thank GOD we thought it was 56$ (I’d picked another one from the same designer at a nearby rack that was discounted 43$). I checked the price and left it on the rack. But then I went to Target, spent 17$ on a pizza (I don’t have the stamina to cook these days), frozen blueberries and a pack of razor cartridges that was discounted). Then I stopped at a car washed and got my car washed for 9$ (I was planning on doing this one since my mom is coming soon and I wanted to have my car clean and nice looking). Today I received a vintage purse I ordered 2 weeks ago and one of my BF’s b-day gifts.

I’m telling you. At this pace, I won’t have money left to pay for my cat’s vaccines (if she needs to get any before we move), my work visa (~150$), gas for the trip, the u-haul thingie to haul my boxes, etc and all the other expenses. I guess I’m tricking my mind into thinking that since my rent is finished here and I’ll pay for next months rent with my paycheck at the new job everything is fine. I’m supposed to receive my last check from the department at some point … which I’m hoping won’t be at the end of the month, but who knows.

Everything is NOT fine. I’m stresses and scared. I like to plan ahead, but can’t. I feel like crying, but I can’t …. so I turn to spend my hard-earned dollars on cute shit. Ugh!

More to come in the next few days.