Yesterday a fabulous grad school milestone was reached! I defended my dissertation proposal! Someone asked me if I felt different. My answer then was no. But, now after some much needed rest and a slice of celebratory ice cream cake at 4am, I feel it. Excitement. Anticipation. A little bit of disbelief that I’m already this far along in grad school. The past three years have flown by – coursework, comprehensive exams, and now this. While I still have so much more to do this semester and in the semesters ahead, in this moment I can take a breath.