So, a week ago or so, I was awarded my PhD. I am officially now a Doctor of Philosophy. I knew four weeks beforehand that it was on its way. I was putting the final touches to my thesis - but now its official....
I'm Dr Mrs O...
That really is my official title now - Dr Mrs. As I sit here this evening, laptop on lap, my new title could not feel any more appropriate! I have sat down a few times in the last week to write this post - but its been SO hard. This PhD has been such an emotional journey - a lot of major things have happened in my life - in my families life. Oh goodness, I'm getting choked up again! Eugh!
Anyway, like I say, it's been emotional. The reason I really wanted to write something here about getting my doctorate is because writing on here has helped me get it - especially when last year I had a crazy email response to a post I sat and wrote through tears. Heck - maybe emotion is good after all! : )
I'm pleased that I decided to call this post by new title - Dr Mrs O, because to call this PhD mine, is totally unjust. 'My' success, this doctorate - well, it's anything but mine alone.
I'm totally choked as I type, 'cos I feel like a fraud. Fine, I wrote the PhD, fine the information is not falsified, but the thesis itself has my name on it. I know deep down that there should be two names on it, one name is missing.
This PhD really belongs to my now-Husband. Mr O. I say now-Husband because when I started my PhD, he wasn't my 'Husband'. He was my 'boyfriend' - who lived at the time over 100 miles away. This PhD has seen us living in 6 different places between us and in 4 different cities. Even geographically, its been hectic!
I can honestly say that without my darling Husband's support and encouragement, there really is no way I could have made it through. FACT! There really just is NO WAY and I have to give a huge shout out to J.C. for bringing him into my life. Such a blessing in disguise. Mr O has been there - through thick and thin, at 2am, at 4am and again at 7am - with coffee! He has put up with my moods, my depression when a chapter of my thesis was due but I was suffering writers block, an untidy house when I'd leave said coffee cups lying around (day -after - day). He's put up with eating take-aways (day-after-day) when neither of us had time to cook; he's pretty much took sole care of Little Miss O when I was really snowed under. And that's all at the end of the PhD - when the good Lord knows that if I was sick of hearing about my PhD, so was he! Even in the early days, he was supportive. I remember one particular pub-lunch we had when he visited for the weekend and I said to him
'I'm not sure I'm clever enough to do this PhD, maybe I should just quit - I've never actually been that clever, I just work damn hard - I'm not sure I can be bothered again?!'
My Mr O was there, just like the other Mr O (Barack Obama, that is). I remember him telling me
'Yes we can!'
- and I believed him.
My Mr O was there to wipes my tears of frustration (on innumerable occasions!), to hold me when I couldn't even speak from over-tiredness in the early hours of the morning. He was there to select and buy me a new laptop when mine was stolen just weeks before submitting my thesis.
Every step of the way. He has been there. EVERY. STEP. OF. THE. WAY!
When we were pregnant with Little Miss O, our antenatal teacher (a doula and mother of 4!) told us that being a birth partner is SO much harder than giving birth. She explained that when you're in labour - there is so much emotion and so many hormones involved that you're delirious and not fully aware of things. She said that when you're a birth partner - everything is very real. All actions are intensified, every contraction amplified and every ounce of tiredness exaggerated. I think it's the same for PhD partners. I honestly think that this entire process has been worse for my Mr O than it has been for me. Seriously - I mean that. Like I say, I experienced all the emotion - but he had to manage it when at times I couldn't and he had to live with it, well with me!
Before you start feeling too sorry for my Mr O, you should know that he bought himself a shiny new car last week in recognition of his success! And he deserves it! I'm still selecting my handbag! : )
So, to my Mr O:
Baby, I've said it before, and I'll say it again - you've been my rock. Thank you. You were right, we did it! So, in future, when I write my official name as 'Dr Mrs O', I'm going to remember that its a product of our marriage, I'm going to remember our struggle. The Bible says love does not keep a record of 'wrongs', but luckily I've not read yet that love doesn't keep a record of 'rights'.
You helping me with this PhD is one 'right' that is going to save you on many many occasions to come and one that I just will never forget - 'cos I'll see a reminder of what we have achieved in black and white every single day!
Mr O, you're my rock and you rock! Fine, I know you'll call it a 'cheesy lyric', but who cares - I'm Dr Mrs O!
We did it!