Today I woke up and felt it.

Felt what you may ask. Well it. The looming of something big. I feel scared, maybe even a little hopeless. I keep telling myself the looming icky feeling I feel is tucked in bed with my massive amounts of writing that has taken place and will take place. By the end I will have written 40 plus pages. And while that seems overwhelming when you say it out loud….FORTY! It will happen and I will finally say good bye to this semester. One I cannot leave soon enough. A mom of three, a wife of one, a teacher of 120 and a graduate student taking 2 graduate level seminars.

I feel like I have failed miserably. And maybe I have. I know my expectations of myself are way lower than I ever would have considered. But something had to give. When I feel like it is too much and I could collapse under the pressure there are always those few out there that like to remind me that someone has it worse. “She teaches college too” or “At least you aren’t dealing with this.” And maybe they are well meaning.

But right now I am not afraid to admit that my plate is beyond full and spilling over the edges. I have bitten off considerably more than I can chew. Would I change it though? No. Would I do things differently? No. I spent this last year making huge commitments to my professional self all of which I have accomplished. The finishing of graduate school is the icing on the cake. The goal to do it as successfully as I can muster.

It hurts though because the people that know me and even teach me have seen me always give 110% and now they see me at 85%. I worry that they will see me different or hold that drippy overfull plate against me. I still love this time more than anything, but I am ready to make changes in the world of which I have chosen to walk through professionally. It is time. It has been time.

So I guess that parts I have felt are the grieving of leaving that academic community. The very community that helped me identify my professional goals and self. As I leave I struggle feeling like I have something valuable to say. I know I do and I have have longed for years to add my voice to the unheard. I have a tremendous opportunity to do just that! But I gotta make it past that finish line.

Therefore, I look in the mirror and I muscle through. I sleep little, I research a lot and I just chug through giving my 85% and hope and pray it is enough. I don’t have to be first or speak the loudest. I don’t need 100 publications or even accolades. I worked hard, not just hard….very hard and those that need to know it do.

I just wish I could let go of that feeling of it never being enough and wondering why people don’t take me more seriously. I say something and I often hear, “Yea, but…” And I guess that is okay. But I don’t want to be silenced anymore. My yea but is that I did this crazy, frantic schedule and life for the last 11 years. I never wavered and always continued to add more and to do it the best of my ability. That deserves a nod. Not a yeah but.

However, I don’t need validation from others to say that. I just need to learn to give myself validation to be okay with what I have to offer and know that it is enough. I worked so hard to get here and now that I am here I gotta quit looking around the finish line to see who is there. I am well aware of where I finished and it is exactly where I wanted to be.

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