I woke up thinking I had time. I thought there was more time for things to miraculously change even though I knew better. I accepted my fate on most levels, but there was still this tiny little fire inside of me that hoped, or maybe even prayed it could or would end up differently.
Last November I started the PhD application process. It was the icing to my cake. It was the final destination to a road less traveled that I felt had been paved for me since I was a very young child. Then as my husband sat attached to machines in a quiet and warm ICU room my phone rang with an emergent plea to gather materials quickly because I was wanted in their PhD program. I believed the call to be fate because I honestly felt back then it couldn’t happen given the situation. That call was hope.
But that is the thing about hope is that sometimes it is fleeting. But I soared on it for awhile and then reality banged through the front door to a husband whose TN got a little bit better but spread. It now affects two sides and also is affecting his occipital nerve.
But as it spread so did my chances of being in a Phd program. I need to be a mom and wife right now and I know this. But a small little part of me wanted to give TN the middle finger in rebellion for taking something from me. I never want to go to bed at night and think, “I let TN win today.”
But I kind of feel like that today. I feel like that because I dealt with the paperwork and officially withdrew myself from my university. It was tearful and it was hard. I can’t do all that I need to do at this point and be who I want to be.
The reality is that my PhD may never happen. I am trying to find a way to be okay with that. I have talked to very few people about this because I feel like I am letting myself down and I feel like I am letting others down. I know in reality I have just found my limit. But I have never really had a limit when it came to my academic self.
And I can tell myself I may some day be able to fulfill this dream. And maybe I will. But I have got to hold onto the fact that it may just not be in the cards for me. It is a hard truth, but it is my truth.
Maybe I will look back a year from now and feel way less sad and my life will look a little different and I can explore it again. But I cannot allow my heart to hold onto that too hard because TN has a way of controlling a lot. For now, being a wife and a mother and being the teacher I want to be is my main priority.
So ultimately love does win even though today I am a little sad, as I withdrew myself from graduate school.