The Nonexistent Separation Between the Personal and the Professional

I didn’t always start off as a person that desires to make connections between my scholarship and my personal experiences. It just kept coming up. My personal life made cameos while obtaining my B.A. in English and again when getting my M.S. in child development. Now, it’s showing up as I work towards completing my Ph.D. in curriculum & instruction. For a period of time, I thought I could separate the two – the professional and the personal. However, I have come to realize that my passion and my professional interests are so intertwined with my personal that really I just had to accept it.

I’ve just finished my second year in my Ph.D. program after working in the field of higher education. Throughout this path in higher education, I’ve had epiphanies, learned some things about myself, and grappled with my identity and ideas. However, since beginning my doctoral journey, I feel like these aspects have been heightened. Maybe it’s because I have the time and space to focus on my identity, my experiences, and how I want to contribute to society. I find that some of my readings, assignments, and presentations transport me to another time in my life. My lived experiences connect to my current world in academia, and I realize the deeper connection I have to what I am doing. The more invested I become in the doctoral process and the more willing I become in being transformed by the process, the more I realize the separation between my professional and personal selves doesn’t exist. 

This blog will be a space where I explore those connections, realizations, epiphanies, etc. I will be honest in my posts and reveal my own journey, often moving from the uncomfortable and uncertain to reveal my growth as a researcher, educator, and human being. Taking the lead from Black feminists, who bridge their intersectional identities to their work, this blog will explore my not-so-linear journey, and illustrate one scholar’s journey in academia. I hope you join me in this experience and feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and experiences too. We may all find ourselves in spaces that we did know existed and learn that it’s worth the discovery. 

*Image courtesy of Barbara Chamberlin.

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