I started in 1999. I was not born to college graduates. I didn’t have anyone to help me figure things out. I tried and failed. Moved out of state. Tried again. And failed again. Moved home. Tried again. I received an Associate’s degree. Online. It was mailed to me. I finished one month before my oldest was born. She will be turning 10 this year.
In 2007 I had already started working at a company where I felt like I had potential to turn it into a career. Yet I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Lofty unrealistic dreams of my youth escaped me. I was in the real world. I had a family. I had to support it. I felt less than. All the time. Because I didn’t “go to college” like the rest of the workforce I was embedded in. I was constantly reminded of my shortcoming. Each promotion was drizzled with a certain connotation.
In 2014 I enrolled. I was on a mission. I was told I could not climb that ladder one more rung unless I get my bachelor’s degree. So I embarked on the journey. And a year later I left that job. After 10 years. It wore me down. Now, this degree was for me. It will not advance my career. I don’t need it. I want it.
I have one more class. It meets twice a week for 5 weeks. My capstone. June 12th to July 16th. They don’t have summer graduation so I walked in Spring Commencement.
When I picked up my tickets I cried.
It has been hard these past three years. Testing myself. My endurance. So many tears. I have a career. I have children. I have spent so much time on this degree and I can’t believe the end is here. That I did it. That I made it.
When I walked across the stage I heard two little voices yell “Mommy!” and I cried.
We can do hard things. We absolutely can. Go, go and do hard things. Because you can. Because you want to.