Oh - I am really anxious. The relief I felt a week ago after turning in my dissertation to my committee has lifted and the stress of facing my defense has descended upon me.
I woke up this morning and my heart was racing. That is never a good sign. I am usually quite comfortable with stress - It makes me feel alive. But this stress feels different. I feel it in my shoulders and back and every once in a while it feels like my heart plunges to my feet and shoots back up - kinda like that feeling you get on a roller coaster.
I hate roller coasters.
The reality of the last five years of my life being put to the test during one sitting with my committee - who by the way are made up of brilliant young faculty - is almost too much for me to comprehend. When I turned in my paper I thought it was really good. As the days wear on... I'm not so sure.
Maybe it isn't all that good? Maybe I think I'm smart, but I'm not really that smart? Am I a fraud? And worse, if I am a fraud, what if they find out - even worse - what if they tell me!
I have a half-hour to make a public presentation - and I have invited every friendly face I know. My husband and children will be there, my friends, my parents...
Ooo.. maybe I shouldn't have invited them? My dad may not smile. Oh - I'll tell him he has to smile the whole time. That'll work.
I did make one really good decision though in all this. I scheduled my defense in the Alumni Center.
Which so happens to be just a parking lot away from a bar.