academic faith PhD Life

Dissertation defense preparation reflections – 20210627

People share all kinds of feelings and thoughts on social media. But I have not come across how one feels on the days leading up to a dissertation defense.

Past couple days I have been feeling dizzy and also somewhat paralyzed. Overwhelmed with having gotten here? Joy and happiness? My dissertation defense is 3 days away. So close.

What’s the worst that could happen? I might have a lot to revise after the defense. Ok. If so, I can revise during the Fall semester. I could also not feel prepared! That I can avoid by being prepared. But it’s hard to prepare when I can’t function at my regular capacity. I should remember what I wrote down from my chaplaincy days- bring myself as I am to the room during visitations. I will bring my paralyzed anxious self to defense. It’s ok to be nervous. It makes sense to be nervous. Dissertation defense is a big deal.

I’m going to accept, radically accept, my fears and anxieties in these last few days of preparing and waiting for my defense conversation. I didn’t come this far to freeze in my anxieties. Things will be ok. If I pass, if I don’t pass, either way, the earth will keep revolving around the sun. I mean the sun will rise tomorrow morning and everyday of this week and many more days to come. I will be ok. So, come what may. I have done my best writing in those 250 pages of my dissertation. I’m gonna let go of trying to feel like I am in control.

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