Now that I have completed five years of coursework, I know that it is something to celebrate, but I have no intentions of being defined or confined strictly by the two degrees attached to my name. To graduate in style is my statement of self. I am a scholar, but I am also a blogger. I have given myself permission to be both studious and sexy. I can be confident in my intellect and confident in my body. To strike this balance is how I define myself as a woman.
Transitioning into adulthood is a balancing act of juggling personal and professional goals. I know what it is to be doing well in one area of life and having another area suffer. My time in university was certainly not without stress and worry, but if I could give advice to avoid that, here is what I would say:
You are usually doing better than you think. When I think about the things that I was anxious about and consider the ease with which I surmounted them, I wonder why I allowed myself to be so frustrated. When you stop and take a breath, affirm within yourself that you are capable and equipped with everything you need to be successful, then go out and do.
You could say this goes hand in hand with breathing. If you never take a moment to celebrate, you’ll always be anxious for the next thing. It’s also important to celebrate all the steps between beginning and ending. Only celebrating at the end means missing the whole process.
Celebrating says I have just done something great and I recognize it at any point on my journey. To close one door for yourself gives you time to stop, think, and I think we owe ourselves that closure before planning what’s next.
The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.
I struggle with letting go. To get rid of something makes me anxious for that temporarily empty space that exists before something new fills it. The past few years transitioning into adulthood has felt like my constantly starting over. To complete something is noteworthy, but it also means having to begin again. The starting line is a scary place, but putting myself there reminds me that I’m not comfortable to settle where I am. While I’m getting in the zone, I’ll also be patient with myself. Amid preparation for the next thing, I’ll be breathing. I’ll be celebrating.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
Photography: Keith Nixon