Sunday, June 26, 2016

Reflections, The 30s Life, transition, Indiana, PhD Journey

I got to introduce myself to a new Purdue employee tonight and navigate what has been sort of challenging since the move last July. How do I introduce myself to someone who has no knowledge of the 'prior-me' before this moment? I don't have easy boxes to check anymore when I fill out forms to list my employer and field of work. I find myself stumbling over a combination of what I used to do and where I used to live combined with too much information about this old house and the project management I've undertaken in the last year, and that Heath finished up his kindergarten year and he had homework daily that I helped him focus on, and... I think this person was super polite and smiled and found a common ground to ask a follow up question focused on one of my life identities I spewed out. 

When we moved here 11 months ago I really struggled with this introducing myself thing. I don't ever recall including my profession in my first sentence of intro, but without the profession I felt like I stumbled over every word and was judging myself more than others probably even gave a second thought. So I guess I tried to have grace with myself and say it will get easier. But I'm not sure that it has. Perhaps there has been an improvement in my own personal comfort level with how I view my new role at home. Though I still struggle with that identity too, like I am ignoring this other big piece of me. 

I've always been more comfortable with plans vs. ambiguity. I think since becoming a parent and entering my 30s that pendulum has shifted to accept a reality that plans and structure are such an illusion. You can hang on to that organized plan, but I've found letting go and embracing what is makes me a lot happier. This relocation and pause from paid employment I've tried to embrace as an opportunity to reflect and be present, to consider what my values are and prioritize based on that as we establish life in a new place. It is freeing to start with a clean slate and no commitments in your schedule. Most days I really do cherish that gift of time. After 4 years of being the sugar mama, it feels nice to pass that responsibility on to J for a bit. But there are still a lot of days where I feel a bit lost in understanding what I am doing in this season of life. 

A week ago Tuesday Jonathan defended his dissertation, completing all the requirements necessary to earn his PhD. ((CELEBRATE!!!)) While this was of course a huge weight immediately lifted, it has been a slow realization of entering a new season for him, for me, for our family. We said the PhD was going to be the next baby in our family (then we decided to add Reese to our clan after the coursework was done 3 years in). But 5 years of daily work and sacrifice has been made to achieve the accomplishment and it feels weird to let go of the daily work and sacrifice. The last two weekends have felt incredibly long. We have so much family time to fill it is kind of unreal. And so maybe that shift in capacity combined with approaching our first year in Indiana has me doing all kinds of thinking. How DO I want to introduce myself? 

1 comment:

  1. Love this! Great reflections on your journey and identity