After I finished my PhD, I swore two things: I would never come back and I would never go back to school. Ha! The laugh was on me because you should never tell God what you won’t do.
In 2009, less than two years after finishing up school, I found myself looking for jobs in New Haven because I was in a serious relationship that seemed like it was heading for marriage. We had even looked at engagement rings. Because my postdoctoral fellowship was ending and I knew he couldn’t leave New Haven for some time, I decided to compromise and come back. However, when I found my current position and came up to interview, he demeanor had changed towards me. When I got back to North Carolina (where I was living at the time), he told me that he didn’t love me anymore and wasn’t sure if he wanted to be with me. Around the same time, I was offered the position and I had to painfully decide to take it with or without him. The job was too good to pass up.
So he broke up with me and I found myself in New Haven with the worst heartbreak ever. I thank God so much for my sister circle, mentors, former pastor, and tons of others. But everyday, I got better and I felt stronger. God revealed a lot of things about my ex boyfriend to me and I am so glad he closed the door on that relationship. It really hurt at the time, but I am glad it was ended.
In these short two and a half years, I have learned so much about myself and have had the opportunity to do so many things. There is a certain freedom about being single and I have learned to fully embrace this season in my life. I have strengthened my religious faith and continue to work on becoming a better person everyday.
Two and a half years ago, I was sad and heartbroken to come back here. But now, I am so glad that I have. It took me coming back to New Haven to see who my true friends are as well as to meet someone I feel that will be one of my closest friends for the rest of my life. It took me coming back here for God to show me that I needed to go back to school one last time. I applied only to one public health school and was accepted last November. I am so excited to head to Baltimore next month to study Epidemiology for 11 months at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg school of Public Health.
But above all, I am growing. I am taking baby steps to become the person that God has intended me to be. I am NOT perfect and I definitely make mistakes and don’t say or write everything correctly, but I am trying. I am getting better.