#RunPhD: Holding On

I was a few years behind on the Hamilton craze, but once I caught up, the music played non-stop in my car for weeks. Then I discovered, and loved, The Hamilton Mixtape. And from there it was a pleasant fall down the rabbit hole into all things Lin-Manuel Miranda. In his interviews, Miranda seemed to authentically love those around him, to desperately want to add beauty to the world, and to be humbly searching for what’s next on the journey. All traits that I want to have and be known for in life.

His most recent creation is a book reproducing a series of his tweets called Gmorning, Gnight!: little pep talked for me & you. I read the entire thing in just two days; really just two bedtime readings as 200-pages of tweets is a quick read. Every set of tweets was illustrated with simple sketches by another artist, Jonny Sun, whose black and white lines added even more to the 140 or 280 characters on each page. Pages of encouragement kept the smile on my face long after I fell asleep.

My favorite set of tweets was the first set I heard of, thanks to an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. It’s the same one that I’ve included as a photograph for this post. Written in response to suicides by two famous individuals, and recognizing how fragile many people are who may appear strong, Miranda used his words to remind the reader that they are loved and others want to hold onto them.

Since finishing the book, I’ve gone back to those pages several times, either as a reminder for myself or to share it with someone else. The dozens of hands holding onto strings reflect the village that each of us has; including some that we may not know are there or some who we may not see very often, but would come at the first call.

When I have been in times when I felt I might float away, or on the other side sink into quicksand, I have been grateful to have my village of support. And to have actions that I know will help me to find solid ground again. Just two or three miles running around my neighborhood gives me a break from the noise of life and in return, the silence helps me find my voice again. Thirty minutes of placing words onto a screen connects dots and lines beyond just the i’s, t’s, and punctuation.

Think about your village tonight. Is there anyone who needs you? Is there anyone you need right now? And what do you need to do to help you hold on extra tight until the morning?


I’ve survived 12 marathons and one Ph.D. program. So…now what? I’ve learned through the journeys that it’s not about intelligence, speed, magic beans, or waiting for it to get easy. It’s about strength and perseverance. This year’s blog series will be about #WhatsNext after crossing some major finish lines, and preparing for new starting lines as a runner and a (not that kind of) doctor. I am #RunPhD.

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