Yesterday I graduated from graduate school. That is a weird sentence to type, 1. because the word “graduate” is in it twice, 2. because I sort of can’t believe I have a master’s degree. (I still have to finish the final paperwork to get my official license to work as a guidance counselor and my degree won’t be “conferred” for a few weeks.) but for all intents and purposes I have a degree.

Where this journey started.

Where this journey started.

 

The journey to this degree and this career path started during the relative “death” of a past dream. I was living in Seattle for a summer following my kind of half baked dream of being a drama teacher. I have said it before and I will say it again: that summer in Seattle was one of the best things to happen to me in my adult life. It forced me to look at things in a different way and I learned a lot, namely:

1. Drama teachers get paid literal peanuts in this country unless you’re very lucky and get a job in a public school.

2. I like earning money more than I like helping kids make art. Sucks to type, hard to swallow, but a truth about myself I have had to accept. I like things, have real estate dreams, want to travel, and I like the security that comes from a steady and fruitful income.

3. Never date a man who will interrupt you and condescendingly call you “sweetheart” while trying to argue his point. This type of man can be hard to avoid because while you’re falling in love with him this will somehow seem sweet. Once you’re out of love and talking on the phone to him underneath in a bridge while walking through a Seattle evening this type of behavior will bring upon you a kind of rage that makes the edges of your vision red and fuzzy.

4.¬†Giving up can be much harder than agreeing to try in the first place. I can’t put into words the kind of shame I felt when I decided being a drama teacher wasn’t going to be a part of my life plan. I was embarrassed to have been naive about what job prospects would actually be. I was horrified that I didn’t actually even like it that much. These are hard things to admit to others and even harder to admit to yourself. In the end I’m glad I took a chance and tried, because I never would have known.

5. Strawberries and cherries taste much better on the West Coast.

6. Living by yourself can be isolating but it can also be so amazingly cleansing. As much as having roommates can be fun there is something so good for the soul about being the complete master of your domain. May you all be financially stable enough to try it someday.

 

Anyway, the picture above is of my bedroom in my Seattle sublet. That is where I laid on bed (which was some sort of off brand tempurpedic and made my body feel like a old man) and researched guidance counseling master’s programs for the first time.

The Guidance Counselor Plan was hatched from the same humble beginnings as the Drama Teacher Plan. I would say it was a little more thought out; I had thoroughly researched the job market and while it can be difficult to land a job, it is not impossible, not to mention guidance counselors are a vital part of a school community and are usually paid accordingly. There was potential for stability, for growth, a little creativity, and to help kids. All things that appealed to me.

I’m happy to say that this time I entered the internship and almost immediately felt like I had indeed followed the right path this time.

And now: without further ado, here are some pics from graduation day.

Getting ready, and somehow the only pic of the dress I wore. Its from TJ Maxx, naturally. I also would like to point out that I wore a dress I already owned instead of buying a new one. #Adult. The dog head with graduation cap that I'm sporting as a head is actually my graduation card from Maverick. If I can recommend anything in this life its dating a graphic designer. Fo' Real.

Getting ready, and somehow the only pic of the dress I wore. Its from TJ Maxx, naturally. I also would like to point out that I wore a dress I already owned instead of buying a new one. #Adult. The dog head with graduation cap that I’m sporting as a head is actually my graduation card from Maverick. If I can recommend anything in this life it is dating a graphic designer. Fo’ Real.

Here I am waiting in the tent to begin the procession. Graduate regalia is extremely difficult to figure out and if I never have to wear a graduation gown/motorboard again it will be too soon.

Here I am waiting in the tent to begin the procession. Graduate regalia is extremely difficult to figure out  and totally ugly and if I never have to wear a graduation gown/motorboard again it will be too soon.

The author Lois Lowry was one of our commencement speakers and she gave a fantastic speech about the power of one's voice.

The author Lois Lowry was one of our commencement speakers and she gave a fantastic speech about the power of one’s voice.

Amen

Amen

Big kudos to the Mav who hung out with me all day long and helped me and held stuff for me and cheered for me. Special shout out to Maverick's family who live streamed my graduation and texted me many congratulations, still gobsmacked over that amazing and loving show of support for their son's girlfriend.

Big kudos to the Mav who hung out with me all day long and helped me and held stuff for me and cheered for me. Definitely deserves a medal for all the grad school complaining he’s endured the last two years! Special shout out to Maverick’s family who live streamed my graduation and texted me many congratulations, still gobsmacked over that amazing and loving show of support for their son’s girlfriend.

After the ceremony Mav and I took advantage of the very expensive parking garage, left the car there and walked two miles to the restaurant our brunch reservations were at. It was a beautiful day and an easy walk made easier by the fact that I wore flats. Once we got to the restaurant I wasted no time and ordered this gloriously cocktail which was a pint glass of strawberry puree, champagne and nothing else.

After the ceremony Mav and I took advantage of the very expensive parking garage, left the car there and walked two miles to the restaurant our brunch reservations were at. It was a beautiful day and an easy walk made easier by the fact that I wore flats. Once we got to the restaurant I wasted no time and ordered this glorious cocktail which was a pint glass of strawberry puree, champagne and nothing else.

Duh.

Duh.

We had a party at our apartment and also honored a friend who was graduating as well. Again, if you can date anybody, date a graphic designer, because he will photoshop your head onto a karate master. That is all.

We had a party at our apartment and also honored a friend who was graduating as well. Again, if you can date anybody, date a graphic designer, because he will photoshop your head onto a karate master. That is all.

Maverick gave me this amazing weekend bag for graduation after over a year of bringing reusable grocery bags to his place for sleepovers or to his parents house for holiday visits, or schlepping my bulky suitcase on a two day trip to NYC. The Mav has perfected my very favorite kind of gift: something practical that I need that is simultaneously beautiful and not something I would ever allow myself to buy.

Maverick gave me this amazing weekend bag for graduation after over a year of bringing reusable grocery bags to his place for sleepovers or to his parents house for holiday visits, or schlepping my bulky suitcase on a two day trip to NYC. The Mav has perfected my very favorite kind of gift: something practical that I need that is simultaneously beautiful and not something I would ever allow myself to buy.

 

All in all a pretty awesome day. No, it doesn’t feel “real” yet, and I don’t feel any different other than a lurking panic in my stomach over student loans, BUT HEY QUE SERA SERA, where is the champagne?

 

 

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