Today is a day of firsts. It is the first day of my PhD program. Today I take my first real graduate classes. Today starts the first semester I will live in my own apartment. Yesterday marked the first semester (particularly since I’ve been driving/living on campus) that my Grandma and Deda did not call to wish me luck, or tell me to be careful, or not to walk places alone. But because they did this when they were here, while I’m a bit sad they can’t call and say these things… I feel them anyway. I will do them anyway.
It is a day of seconds. Today is my second night in my apartment, sleeping there all by myself. It starts the second class I am taking with one of my advisors– who I think is amazing (as will be the class!). It is the second time the first year PhD students in my program have been gathered together all in one room, by ourselves. 14 females and one male. I’m still learning names and faces. While I’m looking forward to getting to know our one guy– when someone makes a joke, the sound of feminine laughter is all you hear. I feel sisterhood. I’m excited to be embarking on this adventure with this class. I feel good things.
It is a day of thirds. This is my third year living “away from home” and being home only on weekends, the first two years being in the dorms (on campus apartments). I turn over the day-by-day calendar in my office, which I’ve neglected having not been here since last week. The calendar has quotes and Scripture verses. Today’s is a Scripture. “I thank my God every time I remember you,” Philippians 1:3. It is a verse that was very special to my friend Jessica. Three. It has been three years since Jessica passed away. She will always be a special person in my life, someone who helped me on the way to finding out who I was. I am thankful for this verse on the calendar. I am thankful for her warm memories– they make this day feel as complete and familiar and perfect as it has been.
And so, the journey begins… One. Two. Three!