Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Can't sleep, boo!

Don't you hate it when you just can't sleep?  That's me right now.  It's almost 4:00 in the morning and I'm freaking wide awake.  I'm sure it's going to hit me about mid-way through my day, just like it did yesterday when I was up at the same time.  So here I am.  It always helps me to get my thoughts out of my head and write about them.  It may not make me go back to sleep, but at least it will let me get to the heart of whatever is swimming around in my brain.

Yesterday at work, I was mentioning to a few friends about how my college graduation ceremony is coming up on May 18th, just about a month away from now.  They were super excited and told me how happy they were for me.  It got me to thinking how long my road has been to get to this point.  When I was growing up, I was made to feel as though I wasn't smart enough to do much of anything.  Part of that were messages that came to me in my household and part of it were my own insecurities.  I have always had a problem with weight and, at least internally, it made me feel as "less than" other people around me.  I mean, what smart person puts on the sort of weight I did if they were intelligent?  Don't you know that it's simple math - calories in, calories out?  I bought in to those rationalizations, never accounting for the fact that perhaps something else was going on. 

After graduation from high school, I did start going to a community college off and on, when I could fit it into my schedule.  For a while, I just didn't know what I wanted to do.  Then, when I seriously wanted to get that degree, a had a boss at the time who prevented me from taking classes.  Literally, I was taking one or two classes each semester.  If you go at that pace, just imagine how long it takes!  It wasn't until I moved to my current high school that I was really supported.  Once I transferred to the university, I starting whipping classes out and now here I am.  I will need to take two classes in the summer to finish out my degree, but I get to walk in this graduation.

It's funny, every time I would walk in the processional at the high school where I work with a cap and gown on, I would get that rush of adrenaline inside when Pomp and Circumstance was played.  Staff members sit in the graduation if they so choose to support our kids and hug them after they receive their diploma.  I would always be so thrilled for them, but it would also cause me to reflect on my own journey.  I never walked in my graduation from high school.  There was just too much bad going on in my home at the time and being in a graduation ceremony was not something that was important to me.  Now, when I hear that familiar tune played in my own college graduation next month, you had better believe I am going to be incredibly emotional.  I will be a college graduate and that is a HUGE deal to me.  Some people take that for granted, especially those that go straight to college and finish in four years right out of high school.  Sometimes they just don't get the pure sacrifice it takes because perhaps their parents are paying for it or maybe they are just going through the motions because they think it's something they are supposed to do.  Don't get me wrong, not everybody treats it that way, but I just know that, for me, I appreciate the journey so much.

In that crowd at graduation will be my parents.  My dad and stepmother will be coming in from Utah and my mother will be there as well.  They are all so thrilled for me and have let me know how proud they are.  Things have changed so much in all of our relationships.  My mother was abusive and she no longer is that person, not at all.  The fact that they can come together to help celebrate this special achievement with me is no small feat.  They fought a lot when they were married and the divorce was not pleasant.  There were years of animosity between them, with me and my brother in the middle.  Now that so much time has passed, they are actually pleasant with one another.  I know I will be able to look out in the crowd as I'm walking into the graduation and see happy parents.  And afterwards, we will be having a celebration with my family and friends.  In fact, on Saturday, I'm getting together with my friend who will be hosting the party and giving her a list of people to invite so that she can connect with them.  I told her I didn't want it to be too big and she said to me, "Kathy, this is a big deal!  Invite as many people as you want."  I just didn't want her house to be overrun with people.  But, she's right, it's a big deal.  A huge deal, in fact.  In the fall, I will be pursuing graduate school, so there's a lot of good stuff to look forward to.

Anyway, that's what's in my head early in the morning.  It's all happy stuff, though.  Very happy stuff.


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