Updated: Oct 4, 2020
As many of you MAY know, I am currently in a Doctoral Program for Social Work. As much as I am currently enjoying this program and journey, I wasn’t always sold on obtaining any higher level of education. In fact, at a time, I didn’t want to go back to school at all. Yet, while feeling this, I signed up for a 72,000-dollar program that I wasn’t even interested in. Why? Because everyone else was interested in ME doing it.
See, before I even finished grad school, the common stuffed question upon me was, “so when are you getting your Ph.D?”
—Umm, can I walk across this stage first!?
So it was a harsh pressure, especially as a professor, and especially in the shadow of my grandmother’s accolades, to get my Ph.D. I remember getting accepted into the program at University of Southern California (Doctoral of Social Work), and not being excited at all. Yet, I had this computerized excitement that kicked in because I know others would be excited on my behalf (looking back, this is so weird to me). So I continued to make decisions about a program that I WAS NOT excited about, only because of how it felt for OTHERS to be proud of me…not me.
Well, eventually, the skin cracked. I procrastinated paying my tuition for class because something in my spirit just wasn’t settling with this decision (listen to that spirit!). And so, after many therapy sessions, and much prayer and tears…I told them that I was deferring the program for at least a year…
—if not, forever.
I felt TERRIBLE! This was going to let EVERYONE DOWN (except me, but I had no relationship with her yet)! Nevertheless, I told them that I cannot participate in a program that I have no personal commitment to. So, I planned to tell no one in shame that everyone would ask, “awwwwww whyyyyyyyyyy!?”, or, “no, just push through it!”, or, “but this is such a good opportunity and we were rooting for you!”.
--Isn’t it so unfair when instead of people cheering you on in your decision, they automatically assign you an emotional response based on their perspective?
YET, despite this, I had to start telling people that I wasn’t in the program, mostly so they would stop asking how it’s going. But most of all… I HAD to tell my grandma —the woman that I spent life being perfect for. I had to tell her that I couldn’t do something “successful”. In my eyes, the scariest and highest level of failure.
Nonetheless, I did.
I won’t discuss the outcome because the focus of this message is not how the person responds to your bravery. It’s that you were brave. Whether she was happy or mad isn’t the celebration. The celebration is that you chose you. 1.5 years later, and I am now in the program, happily, and because I WANTED to be in the program. Because of this, I received my first 4.0 in a semester. I also received a scholarship that I would not have received if I started a year early. Best of all, I am happy with me life because is is not based on the waves of others, but on the shore of my own island. All because, I chose me.
Stingers (Main Points):
Intimacy: Know yourself well enough that you know what makes you happy, not what makes you feel settled on behalf of others’ emotions, feelings, or thoughts. Happiness; settle —Difference.
Loyalty: Letting others down doesn’t even compare to the pain of letting yourself down. Choose you—it’s worth it.
Freedom: Allow yourself the liberty to not take on the emotions of others that diverts your mind and peace. PROTECT. YOUR. PEACE.
Confidence: Make decisions for you. Flat out. No one else has to deal with the consequence, EXCEPT YOU.
Self-Love: Cheer on your own darn self. Shoot, you’re the best person in your stands.
Security: Don’t make a decision for the satisfied or dismayed reaction of others. Make decisions SOLELY because it was best for you—with or without their reaction.
Drop of Honey: Trust yourself. Be brave. It takes less than you think, but does more than you could imagine.