When I Said No to Dr. Lemus
This is by far one of the most difficult things I’ve had to write. It’s been on my mind for a few weeks now and I want to share this with you. About a week ago, I decided to no longer pursue my doctoral degree. For anyone that has been following along my journey thus far, you know I have been working towards this goal for years now. I always saw myself as Dr. Lemus - suited up as an academic scholar high up in administration, but then…things changed.
Over the last year, I have been going through a transformational journey, one that really feels like a rebirth. It’s like like an unraveling process where so many aspects of my life have crumbled apart only to be rebuilt again. My mindset has dramatically shifted. I now seek happiness and alignment in everything I do rather than titles and money. I know abundance will come but not in the way I used to think it would. I honestly feel like I’m finally finding my true self. He had been socialized to hide behind unrealistic expectations and what others deemed him to be successful. He’s done hiding now. He is a man of spiritual growth, of intentionality, and a deep curiosity for the intricacies in life. It’s precisely because of this that I know there is so much left for me to explore.
When I decided to pursue a doctoral degree, I did it in order to move higher up in administration within a system of higher education. When I realized that was no longer what I wanted in my career, my decision changed. I knew deep down in my gut that if I didn’t know why I was pursuing this degree any longer, that I needed to take a step back and allow myself to continue exploring. It’s no longer time for me to pursue what others have always wanted of me or envisioned me doing, but to finally put myself first and really hone in on what I want to really do in life.
When I finally made the decision, I cried. I felt guilty and like I was going to disappoint those around me. I mean come on, I would be the first doctor in my family! I would be one of the few Latinx educators with a doctorate degree. As a matter of fact, I thought I was going to break my mom’s heart when I told her but you know what, SHE WAS FINE. Everyone that I have told that genuinely cares about me is fine. My mom said “you got in once, you can get in again and you should pursue your passion…I just want you to be happy”. I know I have potential to still impact the masses, perform research, and find my true path in life and eventually I may still seek out Dr. Lemus again ,but now is not the time.
I am so thankful to the program for believing in me, the people that helped get me to the point of admission and of course to the folx that have helped me process this decision. It’s not easy but I feel good knowing that there is still so much life to live. I can always apply again and in the meantime, I will continue to pour into my passions.
I have so much to offer the world and while it may look very different from what I had in mind the majority of my adult life, THAT IS OK. I don’t need to feel guilty for this. For anyone that’s going through something similar, know you’re not alone. Seek out your truth and find your purpose.