I sat down on Monday and looked at everything, to see if I could find a way forward, and I couldn't. I could feel my heart pounding, and my anxiety level was through the roof. I thought about it for a while and decided to leave the program. When Malida came home I talked with her about it and she supported me.
Once I made the decision, it was as if a huge burden had been lifted from me.
I called my advisor yesterday and talked it through with her. She was supportive as well, and accepted my decision.
Today I talked to the program director. I told her where I was at, and how I was feeling. She was also my second reader, so she knows the gaps my project. She related to me that she had had a similar experience when she was in her DNP program, and she knew what I was feeling. We talked about the project, and where it needed to go.
She offered me another option besides quitting. She would give me an incomplete for this course, and give me a year to rework the problem and proposal. I can rejoin the following cohort next spring, and pick up where I left off, and complete the last 5 semesters.
I didn't think I had the option to take time away--they don't tell you that at the outset. In the time she has offered me, I can pretty much rewrite the proposal to something workable. I know what I need now and how to do it.
So that's what I'm going to do. It will delay my graduation by a year, but I will end up with a solid project, and will have the time to really do it the right way. It was such a relief to be able to be given a second chance at this.
I hardly ever watch tv, but last night I turned it on and watched part of the movie Akeelah and the Bee. It is the story of a young inner-city girl who defies all odds and wins the national spelling bee. In order to win, she has to overcome all sorts of obstacles, particularly self-doubt. As I watched it, I thought that it was probably not the movie I should be watching, as I had just decided to give up on a dream. So I changed the station and landed on a movie about a lawyer who, against all odds, takes on an unwinnable case, and overcomes adversity to win the case. At this point I turned off the tv.
As I was leaving the campus this morning for the hospital, one of the students stopped me. He is the oldest student in the class, and this his second attempt at nursing school. He is almost done, and will succeed this time.
I was one of his teachers in his previous attempt, about 7 years ago. This morning he said he wanted to thank me for the words I had given him back then. He told me that I told him obstacles aren't the end--you either find a way around them, or they send you in a different direction and it takes you to something else you might not have considered.
I thanked him for telling me that, and shared with him that I was up against my own obstacle, and needed to be reminded of my own words.
Life is funny sometimes.