Dr. Michael Haydel, Ph.D.

Today my husband went to UTD for one of the last times and passed his dissertation defense. After making a few tweaks to his paper, he’ll submit it and officially be done with his Ph.D.

I’m not going to lie: it’s been a long fucking road to get here. Mike’s dealt with two of his three advisors leaving the school, pushed-back deadline after pushed-back deadline, and quitting the PhD program altogether (only to get back into it a week later). Not to mention us having a baby in the middle of him writing his dissertation. His determination and ability to motivate himself through such a solitary achievement is baffling and incredibly humbling. Now I know why so many people drop out of getting PhD’s, and why they are so rare and so valued. It takes a certain kind of person to do what Mike just did.

We’ve also been through a lot as a family in these six (six!) years. We knew what we were getting into, but like any endeavor, there were unforeseen challenges and trials we had to weather. But we weathered them together, and in the most cliche way possible, we are so much stronger because of it.

But enough about us…this day is about Mike. I am so proud of him that I tear up every time I think about what he’s just accomplished. During all of the dark periods, I would always tell him that I know it’s tough but I know he will get through it and be so happy on the other side. And now he’s there, on the other side. And he’s happy.

And so am I.


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