From Then to Now.

This morning, I defended my thesis. I stood in a room with my committee members, my husband in the back, my hands slightly clammy, and my heart on my sleeve. This day literally represents the culmination of my entire work at Duke. It kinda feels like I have been pregnant for 2 years and my baby has just slowly been growing and forming and finally today was the arrival day--the result of all the waiting and hard work and discomfort and lack of sleep and craziness. Weird analogy, but it kind of works. If you are pregnant and reading this, i apologize for pretending to understand what you are going through...but moving right on,

it is funny to think back to my first days at Duke and remember how much has happened since then:
  • I started this blog as my "grad school outlet-to-keep-me-sane." And now, it's become one of my favorite hobbies and means of communication with family, friends, and some strangers.
  • I took out loans for the first time in my life, to pay tuition to Duke. And figured out how to live on a (tight) budget.
  • I found a new church in N.C. that I love. I thought it would never be possible after having to leave Portico behind in Cville. 
  • I made new friends at Duke, and kept the old very close too.
  • I got engaged to my best friend Adam.
  • I went to many Duke Basketball games where I bled blue and jumped around a lot.
  • I planned a wedding...while simultaneously planning my thesis research project in Damak, Nepal--studying mental health among Bhutanese refugees.
  • I travelled to familiar places like here and here and, of course, here.
  • I travelled to a new corner of the world and made new friends who were not as different from me as I expected. Go figure.
  • We even had a dance party on the Nepali rooftops!
  • I found out one of my best friends had cancer, and watched as she was super brave, battled it, and eventually got all better.
  • I played dress-up in my mom's wedding dress.

  • I played dress-up in my wedding dress.

  • I had the most fun and blissful wedding day I could ever imagine in a big old barn, and married said best friend. We danced a lot and ate gelato.
  • I returned to Italy and got to speak my favorite language for 2 weeks, in my favorite country, with my favorite person. I can't delete the photos from my camera. 
  • I learned to live with a man.
  • I learned (am learning) how to cook well for two on a budget.
  • I wrote one-bajillion thank you notes.
  • I got bangs for the first time since I looked about like this
  • I almost got my first puppy, and then thought better of it.
  • I learned about epidemiology, all about infectious and noncommunicable disease, how to run logistic regressions on data sets, and how to conduct quality research. 
  • I gave a lecture to a class of Duke undergraduates.
  • I wrote a "thesis of publishable quality."
  • I defended my thesis.
  • Oh, and did I mention that I PASSED? (And don't it feel good!)

I had no idea what Duke had in store for me. And, now, I have no idea what is in store for me next. But the same one who brought me to Duke is directing my next steps too. And so, I get excited thinking about where I'll be and what I'll be reflecting back on two years from now. 

Thanks for following this blog through my graduate school years. I hope you'll keep following into this next phase, wherever it takes me!  

Lots of love to you all! 


*Bridal photos by Eric Kelley Photography.

1 comment:

  1. You certainly had a lot of things that you did in your life. And I think one of the good things in it was successfully defending your thesis. MA or phd dissertation can be hard to write, but it doesn’t mean that people can just quit on it. So, I marvel on people who despite some hurdles in their journey still fight up until the end of the journey.


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