My college diploma arrived in the mail today.
I know, that’s not a big deal for most people. Well, it is a big deal, it’s just maybe a bigger deal for me, since I’m 56 years old and just got my BA degree from Marylhurst University. When I decided to actively pursue the degree last year, I transferred almost 200 unorganized credits (I needed 180 to graduate). Most of the credits were older than my professors. It still took me an intensive year to fill in the blanks of a degree plan. I finished my degree in English Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing, at the end of August, and today, the diploma came in the mail.
The reason this is such a big deal for me, is that not pursuing my degree, not finishing my formal education, has been the one regret I’ve carried with me since I was 18. I let my many demons dictate my life for years instead.
But the demons have been put aside for more years than they tortured me, and I have made good on all my regrets. This was the final one.
I wasted no time in running out to get a frame, and it now hangs on my wall above my desk, a reminder of how my life used to be and how it is today.
Next week I begin graduate school. Again, I will be older than most of my professors, and my fellow students will be younger than my children. That’s fine. I know who I am and I’m comfortable in my own skin. The best part is that I’m not furthering my education in search for another career. I have a career. I was born to write. But all education enhances writing. So, while people in my classes are sure to be pursuing a better job, I’m pursuing a better me. I’m taking these classes simply because the subject matter fascinates me.
How lucky is that?