“Well, that’s done. I graduated from college. What’s for dinner?” - Me.
It took me a while, but I finally did it. I graduated from college. It was awful. I have no idea how I did it. I have no idea where I found the time, or how I found the energy, but it is done. I feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment knowing I finished something I started over a decade ago. If I would have stayed in school all those years I would be a doctor by now, but whatever.
I am a walking billboard for adult learners. I am that commercial of a person sitting up in bed while everyone else sleeps typing away on an essay, finishing homework on the bus ride into work, or taking my lunch break to complete a math problem while trying not to get sandwich crumbs on my MacBook Pro. I did all these things, and although I thought it was terrible at the time, I look back and am proud of the determination I had to get this damn diploma. I have no idea if it will impact or improve my quality of life, but this was a personal goal to get my degree, so I got it.
Over the last two years, while I was in school, I also worked my but off at work and was offered a promotion. During this time I had been dancing the line of work-life balance for 20+ direct reports. Not an easy task when you have a final due every few weeks. We bought a home in Nashville, TN. We moved across the country twice, and we got engaged. And somehow during all of that, I still found time to accomplish my academics. If I can do this, anyone can. I know, I may sound like I am patting myself on the back, but I don’t care, this is my story. I know a million other people have done this, and good for them. Going back to school was rough, but at the same time, it was rewarding. I am proud, let me have my moment.
On a recent call with my soon to be mother-in-law, I vented to her about how I just wanted to drop out. She listened to my complaints and then told me, “You are in your last class, it’s almost over, and when it’s done you’ll be glad you started this two years ago instead of today.” These words stood out to me because every accomplishment starts today. While I was in school, I did not tell anyone; this was a personal quest to prove to myself I could do it. In two years, whatever you start today could be accomplished. Are you going to get started right now? Or, are you going to wait another two years and say to yourself “Next year I will get to that” or “This Saturday I’ll start.” We all know we are full of shit when we say that, so get started on whatever goal you have now, you’ll be glad you did.
What will you get started today?