Self Love, Happiness, Awareness

Happiness Keys Life Purpose

Personal Goals-34-year long goal

34-year long dream.

Realizing a 34-Year Long Goal

This week was a week filled with ups and downs. The biggest up for me this week was that I successfully defended my dissertation. In laymen’s terms, it means I’m officially considered a Dr.

Let me say that again: I have the educational and legal qualifications to be referred to as Dr. Naimah Qwuarels.

In order to understand the sheer magnitude of that statement, I feel like I need to give you some context. This has been a childhood dream of mine since I was probably six years old. Back then, I wanted to be a medical doctor because, well, money talks when you’re a younger me. It wasn’t until I got into my undergraduate studies that I realized I really didn’t like science that damn much, so I had to figure some shit out.

Prepping for my doctoral defense/ 34-year long goal
Prepping for my doctoral defense/ 34-year long goal

In figuring that shit out, I came to find out that you can become a doctor in different disciplines. By the time I was in the junior year of my undergraduate degree, I knew I would become a doctor of something at some point in my life (preferably before I turned 30). My focus was on going the whole way in education and becoming part of the few who have doctorate degrees.

And then life happened. Life for me included miscarriages, pregnancies, children, hurricanes, relocations, changing professions, multiple moves, religion, career changes, resigning from jobs, a stint with homeschooling, lost identity, depression, PTSD, deaths in the family, counseling, MLMs, loneliness, heartbreak, mental abuse, identity crisis, school closings, divorce, remarriage, rebuilding, and recommitting myself to my childhood dreams.

Prepping for my doctoral defense/ 34-year long goal 2
Prepping for my doctoral defense/ 34-year long goal 2

I list all of that to say, this journey wasn’t easy, nor was it short. This dream started at the age of six and ended at the age of 40. That’s a 34-year long dream. And, that dream culminated with a 34-minute presentation and a five-minute phone call.

So what does this all mean?

Now, that the dream has been realized and I’m finishing up the editing process of my official dissertation, I wanted to share some of the lessons learned along this journey.

  • Dreams may look different in person than what they look like in your head. I think it’s important to write your dreams down so you can compare what the reality of those dreams looks like next to the actual achievement of the dream.
  • You may have to reorganize some things to go from where you are to where you want to be. Those things could include priorities, people, and places. Be prepared to evaluate this as you go along your journey.
  • Finishing the dream may make you feel drained, apathetic, tired, or downright out of it. Depending on the intensity, length, and effort required to achieve the dream, the feeling of accomplishing that dream when it’s over may surprise you.
  • Take time to celebrate the victory before moving on to the next thing. This one is a biggie for me as I’m also so hyper-focused on “what’s next”. I’m actively working to just enjoy the moment before immediately moving on.
Prepping for my doctoral defense/ 34-year long goal 3
Prepping for my doctoral defense/ 34-year long goal 3

So, tell me, what have you accomplished as of late and what do you want to accomplish in the future? I’d love to hear your next steps on your journey. Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email. Either way, I want to hear from you!

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