free as a bird

well, i did it. last night i turned in my final thesis for my graduate degree. when i walked out the door of that building and looked up at the early evening sky, i breathed deeply and felt a huge sense of release. a smile crept onto my face and i laughed. i was actually finished!

it has always been difficult for me to truly enjoy my own celebrations, to fully enter into the happiness of the moment and allow others to celebrate me. but last night as i drove home, i decided i wanted to feel all the joy of this occasion. i wanted to experience elation and allow others to experience it with me.

when i came home, then, it was a gift to sit across from kirk at the farm table as he became the first person to read the first book i've ever written. with the warm light of a table lamp casting a small glow between us and a yummy thai dish filling my belly, i sat quietly and simply enjoyed the moment. it was a gift to snuggle with him afterward and hear him share how the book moved him.

my mom called shortly afterward and wanted to hear everything, so i told it all: what the book looks like, how i planned the chapters, what i named each one of them, and how this came together to fulfill the specific requirements asked of me. i even took the time to read the introduction of the book to her over the phone. it made her cry.

of course, there was some dancing around the house that i had to do, and a celebratory call to kirsten to collectively squeal on the phone. and then kirk and i settled down to watch some harry potter. (very excited for the new movie to release in november!)

this morning, it felt strange to receive my newfound freedom. i felt my body tense and release several times as i lay in bed. i could feel anxiety, an urgency to get up and get going on all the work still left to do, until i remembered that all the work was done. it kept taking a few moments to convince my body that this was true, that it could indeed relax.

it seems relaxation is going to take a little bit of effort. hard problem to have, i know.