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Day 9–Discipline

Discipline is tough. It sucks. But you know you do it when your ready. You see I was in the institution of higher education for 17 years. I got a bachelors, and two masters and a mountain of debt. You may think that is disciplined but you know it became my only discipline. The only thing I did religiously. I never did the gym with such rigor. I never paid attention to my diet or lack there of. You see, the institution teaches one to make it your everything and let all else fall where it may. I lost relationships, intimate, family, and friends all in the name of the degree(s). Anything that teaches you there is nothing else than itself maybe be something you hit the pause button on and ask, “Why am I doing this?”

My epiphany came when my doctoral committee finally lined up and was ready to support my doctoral work. You see in my first doctoral experience, it was all  a struggle and so much so I was determined to get it right—come hell or high water. Well, it was only after the path was clear that I asked myself the question, “Is this what you really want? There are no more hurdles just you and you alone.” That is a scary question for any doctoral student.

You see we focus our whole life around this degree, we move our families if we have them, we put them off if we don’t. It is a big question. But my answer was, no I didn’t want it. I had already experienced the highly coveted tenure track job. It was a like graduate school with more intense hazing. And I couldn’t even pay off my student loans with such a job. So why was I in this program. Needless to say, I exited and with the blessing of my chair, Dr.Babrbara Love. She said, “go, do, be, fly with this work.” Very few spirits in this world celebrate when you open up pathways that didn’t exist in the field but she did.  Dr. Barbara Love is a blessing.

So, it took 4years for me to be able to start to welcome discipline back in my life on my terms and for the preservation of me, not an institution. And so it begins anew.


About Joy Rain

Joy has been a diversity and inclusion consultant and mediator for over ten years. Prior to consulting, she was professor of Psychology and Women Studies. Joy has a Master of Arts in Psychology (Boston University) and a Master of Education in Social Justice Education (UMASS Amherst).


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