Hello? Is anyone there? Can you hear me?
I'm afraid that after nearly six months away from this little space, all of my sweet readers are gone, and I'm typing this for my mom. (Who am I kidding, it's been so long, I doubt my mom even checks for updates on my blog anymore!) But nonetheless, I'm here, I'm writing, and I'm excited to reconnect.
Life lately has been a little...different. I struggled with what word to use in that last sentence, and I eventually settled on "different." Initially, I wrote "hectic," then realized that isn't quite accurate. Life hasn't been nearly as stressful or busy as it has been in previous times. I started to type "great," but felt like that was too simplistic and overly fluffy. So after some thinking, I settled on different. And here's why.
For most of the past seven years, I've been in school or advanced training. I've been focused on one single, solitary goal. The journey was long, winding, and filled with loads of self-doubt, but I kept my eyes on the prize and focused on the day I'd walk across the stage and become Dr. Allison. And then that day happened, and it was awesome. And then I quickly focused on the next step, my postdoctoral fellowship, and then my licenesing exam. I thought, if I can just make it through, if I can just get on the other side of this, I'll be free, I'll be done, and I can start living life.
Well guess what? I hopped both of those hurdles and then was suddenly standing in the spot I'd dreamed of for so many years. And you might think that I'm headed down the path of saying, "It wasn't what I dreamed of, it was unfulfilling, etc," and thankfully that isn't where this is headed. But it was most certainly odd, unfamiliar, and different. To be in a place where I don't feel like I'm scrambling to the next phrase or the next step in training has been weird.
I've been focusing on working and establishing my professional identity. I've been coming home at night with little "extra" to do. No job applications to turn in, no essays to edit. Just me. And Matt. And our little life that we've created, and now suddenly, have a lot more time to build together. We've been working on the house more, spending time with friends, developing hobbies, and figuring out how to live our life post-grad school. The shift has been welcomed and wonderful mostly, but at times it's a bit challenging and well...different.
I've been spending a lot of time thinking about how I want to live my life at this point in time. (And it's not that we weren't living our lives while in grad school; we realized quickly into the journey that if you wait to live your life until you're "done with school," you won't ever make it.) But this new chapter is different, and it's prompting a great deal of reflection and mindfulness on my part. I'm inspired, excited, and eager, and I'm also anxious and a little bit afraid. Yet, I think that's a healthy and realistic place to be at this point in my life.
So I'm embracing those seemingly contradicting emotions and braving the road ahead. I have some pretty exciting things in the works for the next few months, as I think I'm finally ready to bridge my personal and professional worlds, creating an even more authentic place for myself. I hope you'll join me on this journey as I embrace different.