Sunday, September 7, 2008

Unfinished Business

I am going to spend the next three months- think in terms of a semester- studying in Texas, away from Chris.
I know, right? What am I thinking?

I am thinking that in Texas I have a job that will replace my IL salary and Judah is back at his old school. He will be in school Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, all day--which in San Antonio only costs $325 for the month. fyi: In Illinois, we paid $500 a month for two days a week & $720/mo for three days a week-- more than twice as much. But the real plus is that Judah's grandparent's are springing for it so that i can just focus on my tasks at hand.

My adviser is afraid, his exact phrasing was "afraid," that i won't finish my thesis and has asked me to take my comprehensive exams in October so that he can sleep knowing that if I do not actually finish my thesis, I will still get my degree. The comprehensive exams are on October 31st which means that I will need to study for approximately five to six hours a day, every day, to be ready for them.

I would be very proud of myself if i did well on them and, in some ways, it would take some pressure off.

on the other hand, my thesis is what i intend to use to recommend me for PhD programs in the strongest possible way in reputable schools. I want to write a fabulous thesis.

I have bad history in San Antonio and I have bad history with this thesis. This weighs heavily on my mind.

But i don't think it is realistic for me to live here in Boston, looking for a good-paying job while sending judah out into a new school which, to be honest, we could not at this point afford. Studying and research seem impossible in that equation.

If i want to do my studying and my thesis, my best chances seem to be in San Antonio.

Why will i succeed now when I have failed so thoroughly before?

There are lots of things that are different now than the first time i went to San Antonio to work on my thesis. The first is that Judah is not now an infant. He is quite big actually. He is in school and soccer and swimming lessons.
I am no longer depressed. I was terribly depressed after Judah was born for many reasons. I was directionless. Now i know I am working on the end of my degree program to apply to PhD programs in the early spring. And i have a real home, in Boston, with Chris. San Antonio is not a end i can not see past. I will be visiting.
I have a fabulous therapist and a best friend who both know my history in San Antonio and who will both be on deck to make sure history does not repeat itself.
I have made peace with my parents-- they have made peace with us. It happened in late spring i guess. apologies were made and accepted. They have been really supportive of our move to Boston-- they helped us pack up our other place and helped us get this nicer place (money).

I would be lying if i said I wasn't crazy- conflicted about all of this.
But i also know that success in this situation, me and them and chris and judah, for me is about interdependence and relationship. I could cut them out of my life and avoid a lot of angst and anxiety but i would be sad about it long-term.

If you are worried about me after reading this, I understand.

But i want to be clear that Chris and I are not secretly separating-- people seem to wonder if we are when they hear this plan. Chris is vehemently for my finishing as strongly as possible. He has high hopes for my PhD goals and more faith in me than I have in myself. He will miss me as I will miss him, but he feels certain that this is the thing for me to do. He has forgiven the past and feels my father has changed. I love that about him. he has faith in people.

And if it doesn't go well, for whatever reason or reasons, then i will come home to Boston after my comp exam.

cross your fingers for me.


Kristen said...

All the fingers I can cross...are. Glad Chris is on board.

Becky said...

wow. my dear. it seems you've weighed the options and are making courageous choices.

go write a fabulous thesis!

Sandra said...

Fingers crossed. I have faith in you. You know what is best for you. God study and write that thesis. :)

Cara said...

You can do this, and you will. Making peace with a difficult past and a family that you were estranged from might have seemed impossible before but others have done it (Me with my mom - who could have ever guessed) and it can be a huge opportunity for growth for you and them.

I have every confidence in you in this endeavor. You have clear and measurable goals, great support, and a short but intense time of work ahead of you. All you have to do is put your head down and get the work done. By Christmas it will be an accomplishment you will be so proud of!

I'm Proud of you Already!

Melissa said...

That's awesome, Erica. It sounds like you have really thought this one out. I'll be praying that it goes well and quickly for you. It's awesome to have so much support around you for the goals you want to accomplish.

aola said...

You will accomplish whatever you set out to do because that is just who you are. Good Luck!

Just think how fun the reunions with Chris will be :)


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