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Thursday, December 16, 2010

A milestone passed



"A milestone passed, new things begun, dreams as shining as the sun. A goal achieved, a victory won: That is graduation."


Exams have been taken and a 25 page paper for an independent study has been submitted.  The last of the 12 credits needed for a B.S. in psychology and B.A. in sociology have been completed.  I am, finally, a college graduate.  


I have significantly mixed feelings about graduating.  Part of me is angry that I missed out on a semester because I was in a hospital.  Part of me is bitter that I didn't get to wear a cap and gown and walk with my friends last April.  Yet another part reminds me that my situation could have been much worse, and that there are plenty who have gone through and continue to live with increasingly unfortunate circumstances.  But nonetheless, most of me is furious that I caused such harm and destruction onto myself.  Consequently, I have a difficult time internalizing compliments.  I neither enjoy attention nor allow myself to have a pity or celebratory party.  However, I am learning to make room for such uncomfortable feelings, without having to act on them.    

Gratitude, humility and loved doesn't even begin to describe how I feel right now.  I remember the day I was told I wouldn't be able to return to Pittsburgh back in August 2009. The day I convinced my doctors and parents to let me return to Pitt in January 2010 remains tattooed in the back of mind, and then again the day I had to move home in June 2010 still saddens me.  Though every circumstance was different, one thing remained the same: It was ED that held me back-- that broke me down, destroyed me and forbade me from truly LIVING.  But it was my family and friends who gave me strength when I was at my weakest-- physically, mentally and emotionally.

Rather than congratulate myself on (finally) graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, I congratulate those who have helped make it possible.  If it weren't for the people who have fought with me, every single step of the way, I would not have arrived at this reality with both my physical and mental health in tact.  Simply, I would not be who I am.  So I thank YOU, from the bottom of my heart.

I suppose the inevitable question every college graduate is confronted with is, 'What's next?'  For the first time in my life I can say with confidence and minimal anxiety that I simply do not know.  At this very moment I have nothing grounding or holding me back-- the world is my playground.  I know my passions, have documented my goals and hope there is much to accomplish in a year's worth of time, before I willingly start graduate school.  I have made room for the unknown and have accepted that there is a destiny I can not control.  Consequently, I am confident that as long as I keep stepping forward and working towards the goals I have set, I will get closer to discovering my fate.  As a college graduate, I will use the knowledge I've acquired, experiences I've survived and learned from, passions I hold on to (with dear life!) and the support system that has been present despite my (plentiful) moments of weaknesses.  To be perfectly honest, I am humbled and grateful to be alive right now, because a year and a half ago, I wasn't so sure I'd make it to my college graduation.

I'd like to celebrate the victories that help us make it to another day.  Here's to whatever keeps us going.  And here's to a life worth living.




"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know. YOU are the one who'll decide where to go." --Dr. Suess


30 comments:

  1. This made me tear up. Seriously, you are one of the most beautiful women I've ever been so blessed to meet. I love you! Congratulations, you deserve so much happiness!

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  2. Congratulations! I am so incredibly proud of you. Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment (that I myself am still working towards) and you should be extremely proud of yourself. You're right, the world IS your playground. Have fun :)

    It has been a while since we've been in contact, but I recently re-entered the blog world with a new blog called "This is my life, After E.D." I am so excited to be back and am overjoyed whenever I see posts like this one. You are an inspiration to so many people. Please keep writing! Your words are very powerful.

    All my love,
    Lexi

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  3. Love this and love you girl!
    Congrats :) YOU DID IT!

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  4. congrats on being a college grad!!!

    my b.a. is in psych w/ a bio minor and my graduate work was in psych as well :)

    Congrats on your milestones!!!!!

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  5. Seriously, I would have rather heard you do a speech at my graduation (highshcool) than the speeches we had! I mean, I think I teared up a little reading this ;)

    If I might ask, what are you going to major in?
    <3 Tori

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  6. Sincere congratulations to you!! It's a major life moment. Isn't it interesting how sometimes something that's a major thing (graduation) is even MORE significant because of what we went through to get there. I feel the same way about my law degree. I look at it on the wall in my office, and it represents so much more than my completion of the program.

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  7. Congratulations!! This is an awesome post. It must feel so amazing. :)

    <3 <3

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  8. Congratulations!! This post was amazing. You are amazing. I love the last line, it was so beautifully written.

    You deserve so, so much happiness!

    XOXOXO

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  9. wow. freaking BEAUTIFUL
    you are amazing- you have SO much ahead of you girl and you know that. God has so many big plans for you, I cannot WAIT to hear about your adventures! STAY STRONG and keep up that beautiful motivation!

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  10. live in the moment! You have accomplishe so much and you need that mental break! Celebrate with love, laughter, and fun! You have done it. People may have helped you, but it was your strong determination to tackle it will grace. :)
    LC

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  11. my journey has been similar to yours... you deserve a HUGE amount of praise girl! I KNOW how tough the journey is, but you are walking freedom out and its so inspiring and refreshing! Thank you for sharing.. look forward of celebrating many more milestones with ya!

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  12. Well written!! But you definitely deserve the credit as well...you didn't give up, you fought and you are moving forward and on with your life!! Enjoy this time and things will fall into place! Congrats girl!!

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  13. Congratulations - I agree with Anonymous, you deserve credit too, for fighting through and accepting the help/support from others.

    The future is bright :-)

    xxx

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  14. Congratulations! As always, you are such an inspiration. It is so difficult to look at past struggles - especially ones we feel we "brought on" ourselves - and not feel anger and frustration. But like you said, the world is your playground. You have to look ahead, not back. No regrets, lady! Congrats again!

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  15. CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a WONDERFUL accomplishment! I can't wait to see where you go next and I LOOVE that Dr. Suess quote!

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  16. Wow. I loved this post { i think I tell you this in all your posts ;) }

    Congratulations my friend!! You deserve all the happiness in the world!!!

    I love that there is a miracle in everyday and everything that happens :)

    xxoo

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  17. Congratulations!!! You should be very proud of yourself and all that you have accomplished :-)

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  18. congrats on your graduation! you should be really really proud of yourself since this is one huge achievement!
    Have a wonderful time celebrating and enjoying the feeling of being a graduate

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  19. Congratulations, I am so proud of you :)
    I can very much understand the mixed feelings when it comes to academics. A part of me is proud of the exams I take, but there is also a part of me frustrated by the fact that I could have taken so many more than I have. My ED has followed me for four years, and affected both my graduation from high school and my participation at University. But I can not change what has been done or not done - I can only take wisdom and work towards a brighter, healthier and stronger future.

    We must secure our existence and future, without nothing matters. Not good grades, a well- paid job, an apartment. Nothing. And you know what? We both have made so much progress when it comes to taking care of ourself, let's be proud about that. Proud of the fight, the rises from falls. And so very, very, very grateful for the support we've recieved from other people.

    Take care, my friend!

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  20. Oh my gosh, congrats on graduating! I finish uni very soon and I'm quite scared about it because it means I have to go out into the real world...but it's good be scared sometimes :)

    xxx

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  21. CONGRATULATIONS ON GRADUATING.

    I sincerely CANNOT wait for my turn! Oh my goodness, graduation is all I can think about right now and your post makes it so close I can taste it! YES!!! :-D

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  22. I LOVE YOU! you are a light of amazing energy, you will always be <3
    im so proud you made it, i really am, just keep charging onwards soldier <3

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  23. Congrats! I resonated so much with this post--being not really sure how to accept compliments, or even if you should! But, that part of you that feels proud of your AMAZING accomplishment--live it up! Your playground is going to be an amazing one :)

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  24. So proud of you, girl!!! Your strength and courage is admirable, enjoy the holidays! <3

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  25. Congrats on graduating...truly an accomplishment. Your post is extremely moving and shows how you have come out on top of your whole experience. You are absolutely right...you can do whatever you want to do...you were meant for amazing things!

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  26. I hope your insanely proud! Your amazing girl--your going to do big things, i just know it.

    Dana xoxo

    PS
    Hope your holidays were a blast

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  27. Congrats - I just stumbled across your blog, read your story, and was truly touched. This is a great accomplishment! Something to really be proud of!

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  28. Oh my! Congratulations!!!!!! I remember this feeling, it's truly the best! :) You are going to take this world by storm. ;)

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  29. hey you! how are you? :D

    cashews are awesome. cashew butter doesn't taste like ground up cashews...but give it a try! i get mine for 4.49 at whole foods :D

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