Reading would make me brilliant, but writing would make me infinite.Gabby Rivera, Juliet Takes a Breath

Finally, I am a published researcher.

The past 18 months have been challenging, but as I’ve written in a previous post, some of the most beautiful things in life come out of adversity. How infinitely grateful I am for the kindness of family, friends, colleagues, mentors, and supervisors who’ve kept me true to myself and have helped me to be courageous. The University’s Student Life team supported me throughout as well.

I clicked submit on my first-ever submission to any kind of peer-reviewed journal publication, exactly 14 days after I gave birth to my child. I had spent a good amount of 2019 analysing the data and laboured over draft manuscripts, while also working out how I was going to survive after losing my home of nearly 10 years and having no family in South Australia. I quickly realized though, that I did have family here. My friends showed up for me again and again and reminded me that I wasn’t alone.

And so, as I worked out how to be a mum while working and studying, I also found the joy in this new chapter of my life. Reading has always been one of my favourite activities, even as a young child. It took me on adventures as I lived vicariously through its characters and stories. One of my childhood dreams was to be a writer, but I wasn’t sure what to write about. I found that it was easier to write about what others were saying or doing. I was a writer for our school newspaper, where I eagerly reported on current events. I decided it was safer to echo the words of others instead of creating my own. The critical events of 2019-20 made me realise though, that the security and invulnerability of letting others write my own story was not worth it. Writing has helped me find my voice, but it has also allowed me to raise the voice of others.

You’re going to walk into many rooms in your life and career where you may be the only one who looks like you or who has had the experiences you’ve had. But you remember that when you are in those rooms, you are not alone. We are all in that room with you applauding you on. Cheering your voice. And just so proud of you. So you use that voice and be strong.Kamala Harris


Tagged in what messes with your head, phd, Student life, parent-student, writing