I kept that note my son gave me a few weeks ago…https://lifeandwrite.com/2011/06/26/a-slight-grad-…empathetic-son/
But today the tears are from a different place, they fall furiously down my cheeks and onto the keyboard as I type, but they mean something different today as I write.
It’s been three long years… I started out as a single mother with two jobs who started graduate school with a passion, a drive to live out a dream for myself and my son. It was not clear how I would get through it but I started anyway, and one class at a time, one quarter at a time, I worked, on my classes, on myself, on my life.
Three long hard years later without a pause or one quarter off, I now have two sons, a life partner in my husband, a new direction. Life just changes so fast; you could blink and miss it. I have learned to accept that my life is complex, intertwined, and collaborative. I love what I do—arts, education, writing, working with youths and teachers, working in museums, creating programming, working in the community. I’ve enjoyed every moment of joy and madness with the loves in my life. Those guys (Alfonso, Mason, and Rafael) in my house keep me going. I think about it all now, three years later, and know more than ever, this was all worth it.
Two weeks ago when my advisor said he didn’t know if I could get my thesis draft into shape in time enough to graduate knocked the wind out of me, and the exhaustion I felt caused me to pause, regroup, and get back to work. There is something greater than me in control of this situation.
After that academic blow, I wrote, and wrote for hours. I closed the door to my room; I sat at the computer all night before and after work each day. I just kept writing. By the middle of the week I turned in another draft to my advisor and waited.
I could barely sleep, until today, I was taking a short nap, when the phone rang. “What are you doing next Sunday?” my advisor asked.
And with a short pause, I answered with slight hesitation, “Graduating?”
“Yes,” he said.