Valentine’s ode to my (Mr.) PhD

As of today, Mr. PhD and I have been in a relationship for a long time! Incredible 3.5 years! But in the last year we hit a rock bottom. Honeymoon phase was long over, and hard work on building a lasting and rewarding relationship settled in. And since we are stubborn and strong personalities, endless fights and power struggles ensued. My poor friends have heard every dirty detail and endless complaints.

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Yet we persisted, and slowly, carefully pushed forward. And the hidden romantic in me wants to show off our achievement on this special day and instead of all the “wrongs”, take a moment to appreciate all the “rights”. The side I might have neglected a bit in the reconciliation processes of the last year. So here it is – Valentine’s ode to my Mr. PhD – the things in my PhD life that make my heart beat and feel butterflies in the stomach.

  1. Endless Learning – Every now and then, I hear myself explaining to someone a complex theory I have learned from Mr. PhD. In that second, I get to pause and appreciate just how much I have learned during those 3.5 years! In those moments I feel thankful and happy.
  2. Sharing – Even better than learning and developing myself is sharing the lessons from Mr.Phd with others. I love teaching – be it statistics, programming, public health or just discussing life-lessons while grabbing a cup of coffee.
  3. Knowledge-sharingPlanning and reaching a goal. One of my secret loves is scheduling (vacation) and planning projects. And it has been one of my favourite parts of my relationship with Mr. PhD. Decomposing an impossible whole into smaller components, figuring out how and when to complete them and then getting it done (though I like the planning and making pretty timeline graphs best). It may sound odd but making a good plan, makes my heart skip a beat! And especially when the achievement is my name printed and my ideas referred to and built on.
  4. Flexibility – As in every relationship Mr. PhD I have to compromise a bit, and respect certain constraints our relationship results in. Yet, I am free to be who I am – nerdy version of me. Sometimes the very insecure and struggling one. The one who works from home in my sweatpants or the one in fancy clothes and high heels getting high on presenting in front of large audience. I get to be creative, draw mind maps (secret love affair!) and travel. But even with all that, I cannot wait for the commitment and last positive I decided to highlight:
  5. The marriage – (aka defense and my party!) I am really looking forward to becoming Dr. instead of Miss and inviting all my friends to dance and celebrate this relationship and making it a permanent achievement.

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There are of course other aspects of the relationship I appreciate, but the list would be too long. If you want to share what your own Odes to your Mr. PhD I would be more than happy to hear from you!

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