I’ve been working toward this for nearly four years, and I haven’t been very nervous about my proposal defense tomorrow … until this afternoon, when it hit me. One of my committee members who promised to provide some feedback before the defense has not yet corresponded with me, so my PowerPoint presentation is not quite finished, and I started feeling anxious.
It’s easy to start second-guessing yourself in those moments, but I remembered what a dear friend said to me a couple of years ago … back when this moment still seemed eons away! He said that by the time I get to this point, I’ll be the expert on my topic. That seemed like crazy talk back then, but by golly, I think he was right. I do have some knowledge that even my committee members don’t have. My ideas are interesting and worth exploring. My research matters. I can do this!
I’m so thankful for friends at work who sent me emails & stopped by my office out of the blue this afternoon, just to wish me the best and give me a hug before tomorrow. They didn’t even know that I was wigging out! One colleague shared with me a little-known fact that getting through the proposal defense can be harder than doing the full-blown defense later, since this is where the rubber meets the road. I can see where she’s coming from, because hopefully by the time I’m ready for the full defense, my committee and I will have vetted several drafts of my work, and there will not be any looming questions about what the heck I’m doing. 🙂
At any rate, tomorrow is a huge day. Once I get through the presentation, I’ll be clear to continue my work and begin collecting and analyzing data. That’s when the fun begins! 🙂
If I happen to pop into your mind tomorrow morning, I would appreciate your prayers at 11:00 am (CST).