And I finally finished. My graduation ceremony for those in my class was held last Saturday at Portland State University. I wished that I could have been there. In fact, this was one of those times that was hardest for me to be away from “home” for. I wanted to have a big party to celebrate, for the people who knew all of the struggles I had had in this endeavor to be able to witness that finish-line moment. I actually spent a lot of the week leading up to that day pretty weepy, as I was still processing the fact that is was done and also mourning the absence of community to support me as I closed that chapter.
There was another difficult aspect, too. I actually felt kind of embarrassed that I hadn’t managed to finish my bachelor’s degree until now. I didn’t think I could write about it here at first, because I felt kind of dumb. This has been something that I’ve carried some shame about over the years– my peers earned their masters degrees 10 years ago. No one ever made me feel bad about it, but I did. While I have skills and advanced training and experience in other areas, this was something I had always wanted and expected from myself.
But it’s also the shame part of the experience that has actually compelled me to write about it here. Because I know we all have things in our lives that have seemed impossible. We all have finish lines that were crossed too quietly, without the recognition or celebration those personal victories deserved. I want to share my triumph with you, even though it’s not monumental. It’s very significant to me, though, and I could use a little camaraderie. And I want to encourage you to acknowledge and celebrate your personal milestones, as well!
Jeff and Amelia did a great job of celebrating me, and I am lucky to have them. Jeff took me to a very cool venue for a genuinely awful lunch. Then he and Amelia set up a little cake-and-champagne reception in our garden.
(Jeff watching the champagne cork sail over the fence into our neighbors’ yard– very gratifying.)
Would you be willing to share something you are really proud of accomplishing? I would love to hear about it. We’ll have a little party here!
This post was shared at: Thank Goodness it’s Monday.