Today is the culmination of a six-year journey which started with expectations (of graduating by 2006 with a computer science major) that were completely different from what ended up happening (graduating in late 2008 with a journalism major).
I have so many different drafts about this day in my WordPress queue, most of which may never see the light. One draft is a pseudo-inspirational look toward the future. One draft is a very detailed personal account of these last few years, with all the pain and joy and passion interlaced together; but today is not the day to rehash those things. I’m not sure when that day will be; perhaps it will be in my memoirs down the road. Either way, while time heals a lot of wounds, it’s still going to take a while before I can publicly talk about some of those struggles that ultimately molded me into who I am today.
So, for the first time in a long time, I’m at a loss for words. The timing couldn’t be worse, too, as this is my thousandth published post to this blog.
Perhaps it’s the relief of passing this milestone, which I made harder on myself to achieve but ultimately did.
Perhaps it’s the realization that just a few years ago, I was near rock-bottom, nearing financial and emotional ruin, drifting through life with no direction and a lack of passion, wondering “what next?” and “why me?”
Perhaps it’s my continued amazement at how a small epiphany during a trip to Atlanta with my dad in 2005 — a highlight of my life in and of itself — put my floundering life back on track, with renewed purpose and vigor the likes of which I had never felt before, wondering “what can I do next?” and “lucky me!”
Perhaps it’s the excitement of the possibility of what I can do with my life now that I’m degreed. Or, maybe that prospect is overwhelming me.
I’m not sure. Again, I can’t put it into words.
In the end, perhaps I’ll approach this like I have the last two years since my return to school, which I announced incredibly non-chalantly in August 2006: One day at a time.
Yes, it took a few more of those “one days” than I probably would have liked, but the end result is that much sweeter, and I wouldn’t trade what I’ve learned, both inside and outside a classroom, for anything in the world. It was worth the extra time, because I found what I love. That, folks, is what it’s all about.
To the Class of 2008, regardless of how many days are actually left in the year. :)