Books & Writing

Road to Graduation

May 27, 2013
Minutes ticked off the clock and my time as a student reached its end. I was so happy, everything about graduation unraveled perfectly. It was one of those moments you sit in and let the whirlwind of blessings flood in and around you.
Tuesday, I participated in the 2013 graduate reading at the Reid Castle of Manhattanville College. Wine and cheese, fruit and friendly convo, and a few hello and goodbye hugs kicked off the evening. All the while, I was really eager to get the podium. In December of 2010, I stood at the same podium to read my poetry for the first time in a long time. The crowd was small and I felt myself growing smaller. Yes, I wanted to perform but, fear kicked in and I was truly scared. This time around, I wasn’t scared– I felt no fear at all. I knew this moment was mine because I claimed it advance. The minutes that I was up there reading parts of my thesis made me feel like I had come full circle. What I had to say and what I had to give was a culmination of what I believe I was born to do: create, share, and inspire. The evening was beautiful and the castle was nothing short of magical. It sparkled in the backdrop of a few budding stars.
The next big thing that week was…well GRADUATION. I prayed for months that the sun would shine and that there would be no rain in sight and man, God sure answered my prayers!! The day was perfect and I was smiling from the minute I woke up to the minute I went to bed. That morning my mom and I got our nails done, eyebrows, and got coffee at the mall. After that, it was time to get dolled up and head to campus for my gown and line placement.
The other MFA graduates and I got in line and made our way to through the boisterous crowd of administrative staff, friends, families, and onlookers and sat down hoping the ceremony would be a quick and memorable one. And man, was it quick? Anyone who has sat through a graduation ceremony knows they can be lengthy! Not at Mville though. It was meaningful without all the fluff. Obviously, my favorite part was seeing my family and friends in the crowd, hearing my name called, and cracking jokes while we sat in our seats.
As the sun set over the Mville throne I walked up the hill in search of my family and friends with diploma in hand. It hit me, in that moment, with each step that I had just crossed over. The weight I had felt walking up that hill in the winter as a student would be weight I would never feel again. The goal was now accomplished and in my hand was the proof!
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I have the most loving and supportive family ever!!! The times I was tired, stuck having a pity party, and feeling like I wasn’t a “real” (whatever THAT is) writer, my family helped me get back in the zone to PUSH. Knowing they were there to cheer me on at graduation truly meant EVERYTHING to me. Some people don’t have families to support them and I wish I could clone my parents and my brother so that everyone who didn’t have what I have could feel as blessed as I do. I told my family all week and I believe it to be true…we were ALL graduates that day! I was shocked though, when I walked down the aisle of the procession when I saw one of my best friends pop her head up and wave to me!! She was supposed to be in another state at work, NOT at my graduation! The whole day we were texting back and forth and I wished so badly she could have been there with me to help me get ready and hype me up the way only SHE can. But, I knew that I would see her later in the week for my party. I never EVER suspected she was coordinating with my family to surprise me at graduation. I couldn’t, and still can’t believe, she did it!! In the middle of HER finals week she traveled to another state to give me one of the best experiences ever. That, ladies and gentlemen, is true friendship. I love her so much and graduation day was 100% better with her there.
“Throw it up, throw it up….watch it all fall out”
The evening closed with me being ME. Flicking my hat up in the air, hand on hip, and the last lick of sunshine smeared across the sky. What a night! Perfection does exist and I had my taste of it that night. I can hardly believe I’m a graduate. Quiet moments like the one I’m in right now as I type this remind me– I have no papers to write, I have no required readings, or assignments. But, I do have two diplomas sitting in wooden frames that prove all my hard work was for a grand purpose.
 And in the words of my favorite rapper and poet, Jay-z, “Mama I made it!!”



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