A year of freedom

Tuesday was November 15th. Throughout the entire day, I had this nagging feeling that something about November 15th was significant. I have an amazing memory for dates which counterbalances my forgetfulness with refilling the cat’s water bowl—so I was extremely irked that I couldn’t figure out what happened on November 15th. I was getting ready for work the next morning when the light bulb lit.

I don’t use a bathrobe regularly, but I have one hanging from a hook on my closet door. That morning, I decided that my need for coffee exceeded my need for propriety in the form of non-nakedness. I decided to grab my robe and head toward the coffeemaker. As I yanked down the robe, I got a glimpse of my gold honor cords that were disturbed from their resting place.

November 15, 2010 was my last official day of school. I can’t believe it’s been an entire year (but I really should, because I’ve been paying on that student bill for several months now). I pet one of the golden tassels and shook my head. Earning those cords once seemed so important…and there they hung, completely forgotten.

I looked behind me to the top of the desk where my degrees sat, collecting dust in their leather portfolios. I gave three years of my life to full-time studentship while also working full time…and for what? In that moment, I realized that the real token that I was awarded for my work was confidence.

My classes did not give me new-found skills—I had those skills before. What I didn’t have was the guts to use them or the global understanding to use them to the best benefit. Completing my degree expanded my world and gave me breath.

I know that I want my MBA. I’ve looked into programs, and I’ve purchased materials to study for the GMAT. I completed my BS for my career—but when the time comes, I will complete my MBA for me. (As such, I certainly will not be enrolled full time!)

I look back and wonder how I survived with so little sleep, so little downtime, so little…everything. A friend told me that we get through what we have to get through simply because we have to. Nothing important is really impossible, you know. My outlook is still shiny and like new, unlike those expensive pieces of paper. I may not be smiling as big as I was a year ago (if I was, I’m sure my face would have cracked and fallen away by now), but I’m definitely smiling.

Copper Falls
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