Happy Birthday to Me!


I just realized what I want for my birthday, which is in one week!

Normally for my birthday I convince some of my friends to go an adventure with me. We’ve gone rock climbing, practiced archery, rented a party bus, and learned Irish dancing. This year, however, our best idea is to stay at home, so we can care for everyone’s health. In the vein of caring for one another, I would like to serve people for my birthday.

By January 5, 2021, I would love to have 100 women join Sistahs on the Doctoral Journey, a community for black women pursuing doctorates, because we need to support one another.

Pursuing a doctorate is isolating work, especially once you’ve finished the coursework phase of your program. At this point you find yourself the captain of your ship but with no idea how to get where you’re going. Research is lonely work, and crafting your ideas in such a way to gain the approval of your committee is challenging. It often feels hopeless.

Maybe you’ve begun to believe the following myths.

*That strong black women don’t need help.
*That no one understand what you’re going through.
*That strong black women don’t need self-care.
*That self-care only looks like a spa day, when in reality it can look like community, crafting, reading, and writing.
*That you’re smart and accomplished and shouldn’t need any help.
*That strong black women don’t break down.
*That you’re an impostor.
*That you don’t have time for help.
*That somehow getting help is a sign of weakness.
*That getting help will make you look like “less than” people expect.
*That you’ll disappoint people by acknowledging your path is difficult.

Here’s what I want you to understand, however.

*That the process is lonely but you don’t have to tackle it alone.
*That you’ll never finish if you don’t take time to take care of yourself.
*That your journey will be shorter with community support.
*That writing is a skill you can learn and practice and get better at.
*That your life doesn’t have to stop, but you do need strategies for how to manage school, family, work, and everything else.
*That reading and writing outside of your field are good ways to take care of yourself and learn and grow.
*That being creative unleashes creativity in all areas of your life.
*That connecting with other women and books and writing will not only provide support, but also push your thinking.

Sistahs on the Doctoral Journey is a place for you to connect with other women going through what you’re going through, find support, learn ways to practice self care, and get writing help.

Joining the community is free, and being a member gives access to posts, which community members can comment on. This is a way for us to share our struggles, encourage each other, and take some real-world steps to move forward in our doctoral programs.

In addition to the free portion of the community, Sistahs on the Doctoral Journey offers opportunities to connect monthly with other women, small mastermind groups to form support systems, and life and writing coaching.

Why am I doing this? Because I needed help while going through my doctoral journey, and I didn’t even recognize it. I was lonely and depressed and couldn’t see a way out. I don’t want that for anyone else. So I’ve combine my personal experiences with my training as a life coach, and my 20+ years of teaching writing, to create a support system so you don’t have to follow the same path I did.

I just started the community a couple of weeks ago, so 100 members by my January 5, 2021 may seem out of reach. I know, however, there are women out there looking for support on their doctoral journeys, and I believe in big goals. Like getting a doctorate. We aren’t women who seek to be small, so I’m going for big!

If you are a sistah on your doctoral journey, click below to learn more and join the community. If you’re not, please share this with someone who is.

Thank you for helping me make my birthday wish come true!

Sistahs on the Doctoral Journey

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