Thursday, January 31, 2008

Guess I'll probably never get my PhD...

Or a Masters degree for that matter. I recently found a high school friend through cyberspace. It was so fun to reconnect with her. She is working on her PhD in biology. Every once in a while I google some high school friends to see if I can find them. One has a PhD in physics, the other has one in computer engineering. These were the people who I hung out with. It's funny I did really well in high school. I love academics. I was voted "most likely to succeed". I was not just expected to go to college because that is what one does, I was expected to go because I was "really smart".

But what did I really want? I wanted to be a wife and mom. This option was not on the horizon when I graduated high school. So I went to college and got my BSPT. I'm glad I did. My physical therapy degree has been a gift from God. I have loved serving my patients and touching their lives. Also, I would not have met my husband if I hadn't come out here for college. But, I could have done more. I had the brains to go on, I could have gotten a PhD.

Finding my friend made me reflect on this. I liked being a brain. I liked school. I liked being known for how smart I was. It would be fun to be Dr. Debbie. I even had the fleeting thought of looking at the listings of the Masters programs at the nearby University.

Then I had to look at myself and say "What are you thinking?" I have a beautiful 5 month old babygirl. One who I waited 9 years for. In some ways waited all my life for. It is hard to leave her for the 4 hours a week that I occasionally work when she is having fun with grandpa or auntie. Why would I want classes and homework and lab time? Why would I want to miss out on so much?

I think in some ways it is pride that fuels those fleeting desires. If I had those letters after my name people would remember that I'm smart. I wouldn't be "just a mom". People would be impressed.

But, it is also the joy of learning and discovery. I love to learn new things. I enjoy change. One of the hardest part of my infertility years was that I felt stagnant. Nothing was changing, I went to the same job day in day out. Came home to the same house. It appeared I could be doing that forever. When I went to a class for work or got involved in a good Bible Study I felt that energy of learning, changing.

Now I realized that God has provided perfectly. I want to be here for babygirl, and since she won't be grown up untill I'm in my 50's, I don't think I'll be getting that degree. My pride will not be fed. I will just have my little secret, "I'm really smart y'know". I must learn to find my significance in being a child of God, and doing what He has given me, not what will most impress others. But the joy of learning and discovery! Oh wow! Meet my babygirl. I learn new things everyday. And can look forward to 18 years of us both growing and discovering.

Yes, I could be researching the intricacy of cellular transport. But reading "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See" and pondering the the intricacy of how babygirl's retina and inner ear are translating the concept of yellow duck to be applied to the color of sunshine and daffodils, is just as intellectually stimulating and a lot more fun. Yes, I could be teaching motor learning theory to college students. But applying it by practicing "so big" with babygirl produces giggles and precious memories, and she doesn't ask if this will be on a test.

So to my educated friends with advanced degrees. I am truly happy for your pursuit of knowledge. I know God can use it in great ways.

But I will be not just satisfied, but truly overjoyed to be pursuing my knowledge with a research partner who babbles and drools, and celebrates new finds with smiles and laughter.

2 comments:

Jillian said...

Yay!! Welcome to the blog world! You have a wonderful perspective and I love the "research partner who babbles and drools." LOL! And it's been such a privilege and delight to enjoy H's growing-ups right alongside Molly's.

Thanks for directing me here!

Hadley Coble said...

Amen! All those things that are important to so many can be so insignificant when you think of it in perspective that way. Of course, I am glad God calls people to be doctors, lawyers, firefighters, and all the other noble occupations out there; but I am eternally grateful that he's called me to be a mom! ~ I've enjoyed reading your blog! (mommyto2girls@ H@H)