Sunday, November 3, 2013

What am I doing up at this hour?

The time is supposed to change in about an hour and really I should be fast asleep, but I'm not.  For some reason, I am totally wide awake and working on my graduate school essay of all things.  Go figure!  I think I know why I was inspired to work on it, though.  First, I am the worst procrastinator ever.  I have until mid-January to get all my materials in so I think I have a world of time left.  Technically, I do have a lot of time, but there's no reason for me to wait until the night before the application is due to get everything in.

A good example of this for me is the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  My mom and I are headed out to Vegas to spend four days there.  I have been procrastinating on making the hotel reservations.  She has comped rooms available, so we'd only have to pay for one night.  I kept putting it off and finally, when I decided to get off my butt and book, lo and behold we can't get a room for our last night there at the hotel.  She gave me this "I told you so" look.  Uh oh!  While we are there, my mom is going to spend the time with my brother, his wife, my mom's cousin and her husband.  Meanwhile, my dad and stepmom are coming in from Utah and my stepbrother, his wife and their little girl are coming in from Portland so I'll be spending the time with all of them.  The last night we're there is my dad's birthday, so we'll just have to find a room somewhere else.

Second reason I decided to work on my application is because we are busy helping the kids at work with their college essays right now.  All of us in the counseling department, me included, are having kids coming up to us wanting us to read their essays and provide feedback.  Given that I have been not turning any kids away who ask for the help, I figured it was only fitting that I work on my own essay.  As I started writing it, I realized that this is going to be no easy feat at all.  Here is what the five-page essay has to include:

"Write about your personal journey coming to this point where you want to pursue the Educational Counseling MA here [Azusa Pacific University], why you want to do it, and how you feel it will help you with your future academic and professional goals".

As I started writing, I wondered to myself how personal I should really get.  Even though it's double-spaced, five pages is a lot to avoid writing about my history that led me to want to pursue that master's degree.  If I don't include my personal history, the essay will be lacking.  But do I really talk about living in an abusive home or share that I was raped?  After going back and forth on this, I decided to just start typing and whatever comes out comes out.  I certainly can edit things out later.  As I started writing, I realized just how much I have been through in my life up to this point, including the amazing forgiveness I have been able to give others for the wrongs done to me.  As I have written before in previous posts, I now realize more than ever how important it is for me to forgive myself.  I'm not saying I had a part in the things that were done to me, but hanging on to the coulda-shoulda-woulda thinking is not helping me.  When I was a kid, I did the best I could to get through things.  I never thought about telling someone what was going on.  For a very long time, I have not forgiven myself for that.  Man alive, it's freakin time to let it go already!  I think about events later in my life where I absolutely hurt other people on a very deep level and I have never given myself permission to even think of forgiving myself.  Time to let it go now.  These realizations came about because I started working on my paper.  Go figure.

Speaking of graduate school, I finally got my bachelor's degree in the mail.  That was such a wonderful, joyous thing to receive.  Back in May, when I went through my graduation ceremony, my co-workers got me the most lovely frame to put my diploma in when it was time.  The top of the frame has an image of my campus and the bottom is where the degree goes.  Check it out below.

I know you can't read it but it says that I have been conferred the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences.  Yeah baby!!  It's a symbol of perseverance that I proudly display in my office.  May I always remember that I can do anything as long as I work as hard as possible at it.


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