Dear Dr. Rachel Martin

Dear Dr. Rachel Martin,

Today is the day you defended your dissertation. A day that seems like it would never come. A day you have looked to with excitement, anxiety, hesitation, stress.  A day many think is the pinnacle of all the work you have done.

A few days ago, you asked me if I remembered my dissertation defense, and I had to be honest with you and say not really… only that it was anticlimactic. As I wrote those words, I realized I wanted this day to be more for you. My day was ordinary because I didn’t take the time to allow myself to fully feel and appreciate all I had accomplished. I downplayed my accomplishment for a variety of reasons. I denied myself the opportunity to truly relish in the moment.

So coming to your dissertation defense was as much for me as for you. I needed to come to show you how remarkable, important it is. I didn’t feel mine was important and I refuse to let you feel this way. We often joke we have the same brain and because of this, I will do everything I can to help you see the amazing person you are.

I watched you present your dissertation with tears in my eyes. I was proud, but so much more. I was honored that I have been on this journey with you. I have gotten to see you grow in not only your knowledge of the subject but more importantly you have grown in your confidence in yourself. You have learned it is ok to be proud of your accomplishments, it is ok to celebrate your own success… and please know by you doing this, you have shown me how I can be proud of mine too.

You are amazing not because you have a doctorate, you are amazing for how you have done it. You are amazing for the integrity and empathy that have guided you. You are amazing for the person you are, not just your accomplishments. And while all these things make you amazing, it is completely remarkable you are now Dr. Rachel Martin!!!!

Much love,

Dr. Amy Grosso

Dr. Grosso and Dr. Martin

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