Is there a Doctor in the building???

I wish! I need some mental healing after this week.

As some of you may know, I am a graduate student working on a PhD in research science. My subject of interest is Molecular Medicine and Translational Science. . .yes, I get the same headache you do from reading that! Not to mention my work environment is not the easiest. My mentor and I suffer from disparagingly different personalities and communication methods. Over the past 6 months we have had to learn to work with each other to keep the work environment friendly. I am proud to say that I have not given up on my goal of getting this degree and instead taking the easy way out by simply walking away.

As a Black woman, the message “I deserve better” was ingrained in me by my strong single mother, my education, my environment, even society (whether by directly portraying or crying out against the contrary). And in my life, I was afforded the luxury of being able to simply walk away from situations and circumstances where I was not being heard, treated respectfully, or talked to in a way that was useful to me. I had bigger and better opportunities lined up. But when the discomfort of this PhD process reared its ugly head, I found myself for the first time NOT in a position where I could just move on to bigger and better. This was SUPPOSED to be the bigger and better! Maybe life had been a little too kind to me, because while deliberating my decision to leave or stay, I realized that this lesson in succeeding under someone else’s terms is just as important as succeeding on your own terms, if not MORE important. “I deserve better” is not an entitlement. I still have to earn it, prove it, and work for it.

Being in a work environment that takes up 94.7% of my time (just under statistical significance) makes balancing life all the more difficult. So when I got news that my 88 and 1/2 year young Grandaddy had to get a pacemaker, I was rattled. Multiply that by the fact that he lives clear across the entire USofA AND the fact that I don’t feel comfortable enough in my work environment to let anyone know the burden I am carrying. . .I nearly freaked. And when he suffered major side effects and setbacks. . .I had all but lost it.

Despite my constant prayers and faith that he would be okay, I was fading into a numbness to protect my sanity. I was falling into a routine of waiting for news and updating my support army. And a mighty army is what they are! I received constant encouragement, help, care! One friend was at the ready to get me on a plane home (shout out to PED). Another friend blessed me daily with encouragement (shout out to SB). Several friends answered my calls every time I dialed their numbers, no matter the time of day or night (shout out to HMW, KMT, RDB). Someone showered me with virtual hugs (shout out to JF), others answered my questions about devices, treatments, and conditions that even remotely related to my Grandaddy (shout out to JG, JDU/RU), and many prayed for my Grandaddy and me (shout out to my facebook fam/friends)!

The great thing about prayer and faith is that they truly work! My Grandaddy is recovering and is almost back to 100% and I was able to balance my responsibilities without missing a beat. I didn’t miss work, still worked out, and even filmed a video for an upcoming project (details coming soon!!!).

Although I am not a Doctor (of philosophy) yet, and the doctors on my Grandaddy’s medical team weren’t perfect, the Good Doctor above was in the building (and still is!).

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*Disclaimer: I am not intending to preach to anyone about my beliefs. These are simply my experiences, opinions, beliefs, and values.*

©2013 by Ayana Martin

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