Finally! The day I’ve been waiting for. The moment I never thought could actually happen… This past Friday, I stepped on stage in my cap & gown and acquired my master’s degree in occupational therapy.
What a long & trying journey it has been to get here.
Although many know the shear fact that I got pregnant during my first year of graduate school and had to take time off, most do not know that, at one point in time, I had actually decided I would not finish graduate school… that after my summer internship in 2013, I felt it was more pressure than I could bear and that it would be best for me to take a different route with my life. The time, energy & emotional exhaustion it would take to acquire my degree WHILE having a baby and paying endless tuition was simply not practical. How was I to finish grad school with a baby at home… no extended family around… and living off of one income? It felt improbable that I would finish and unlikely that I could even go back… So I decided I was done.
Luckily, I had (& have) very honest people in my life. People that listened and understood, but also pointed out my fears & questioned my motivations. They gave me personal insight and wisdom on how this might feel in retrospect. They encouraged me to go after my degree if it is what I want and to not throw in the towel simply because my timeline got shaken… No one has to give up a vocational calling simply because motherhood came sooner than anticipated.
Looking back now, I can confidently say that circumstantial obstacles were not reason enough to give up on my calling. We are not supposed to look at every road block and merely say, “I guess God has a different plan for me.” Obstacles are meant to be endured and overcome. And although I viewed my obstacles, initially, as signs to stop, I’m so grateful I had people in my life to advise me otherwise.
And as a side note, I certainly do not condemn any one who decides to stop pursuing a dream. In fact, I believe that in some cases, it takes a lot more courage to stop than to keep going.
In my case, however, the day I decided I to finish graduate school was the day I named my longing and went after it. I said “YES” to finishing what I had already started, despite wanting to quit… I am overwhelmed with joy when I realize that I actually did it.
Graduating, walking in my cap & gown and FINALLY getting my master’s (my dream since I was 18) felt like a huge accomplishment. Despite getting married, pregnant and having a baby during my program, I cannot believe I am finally finished.
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to my incredible family, friends, mentors & all others who helped me get here and walked on this precious journey with me. I could not have done it with out your support.