Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A University of Utah Graduate, I Am.

"The lessons we learn from patience will cultivate our character, lift our lives, and heighten our happiness."
~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I've been meaning to write this post for over a month now, but at first I used the excuse of not having any photos (which was mostly true), but then I've just been sitting on it because I wasn't sure what to say. I guess I'm not sure it's entirely sunken in.

On May 6th, I graduated. I've been working (on and off, admittedly) on this degree for a very long time, and I'm finally done. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am and I'll just come out and say it, I'm pretty proud of myself. Historically, I've never been someone who does well at accomplishing things little by little. I haven't had the patience for it. I'm the one who stays up until all hours of the night to finish a silly project or to finish cleaning all the rooms in my house or maybe to clean out my closet or to clean out my files (oh, the stacks of papers I have...) or to write that all-important blog post... you know, things that can definitely wait until tomorrow or that should be accomplished little by little.

Well, this degree has come little by little. I've done it little by little. To say it's been a steady road would be lying. It's been hard at times, but plugging away knowing that there is light somewhere at the end of the tunnel (however far off it seemed) and having a bit of perseverance and patience is what it took. I suppose you could say just putting one foot in front of the other and just walking is what it took.

Doing something little by little while dealing with the mayhem of life is hard. But I can do hard things. And I did. A friend at church was congratulating me a couple of weeks ago and when I said something to the effect of, "I've learned in my life that I can do hard things," he chuckled and said, "Anyone who can spend winter in the northern latitudes of eastern Europe and emerge successfully to meet spring with a smile can do hard things." Wow. Isn't that the truth?!

I am a learner, always searching for new things to study up on, but completing my degree was a lesson in finishing what I've started. A lesson in forgiving myself of my shortcomings. A lesson in you're never too old to accomplish that which you want in your heart and work for with all your mind and strength.

My favorite number has always been 4. As you know, I'm into even numbers. But as I think about the date on which I received my degree, 5/6/11, I'm somehow led to really take an affinity to the odd number of 11. Class of 2011. 5+6=11. I know, it may seem silly to you. But I like it. 11.

Shep, Emery, and Marina.
All the members of my immediate family took time out of their lives (and money out of their pockets) to make the effort to be with me. That made me happy. I love them and am so grateful they were all there. They all were happy to make the weekend all about me, and that was kind of fun. You don't get that too often. :)

Mom, Nancy, Shep, Emery, Marina, Dad, and Stephen
I'll admit that I was smiley all day long, and even a little bit emotional during the ceremony. I did it. I persevered. I made it through the hard parts. And I worked full-time on top of it. I'm pretty happy to be a recent graduate, who already has years of professional experience under her belt. Life is good and the future seems even brighter.

Salt Lake City
6 May 2011



Kimberlee said...

That makes me happy! You are amazing. My favorite quote, one I want to put over my front door (too bad there is a window over the door) is "I can do hard things" - because, it is true. Perseverance is a quality that many people do not tolerate well. Congratulations - I'm glad I was able to share this day with you for a few minutes!

Sharon Young said...

Be proud! You are totally amazing. And I always knew you would finish.

Lindsay RC Wilson said...

I am glad you wrote this. I loved seeing pictures of everyone. I did another little cheer for you. BTW, I am not surprised that you would like 11 of any odd number. It is balanced with 2 1s, and added together makes 2. Oh, and I see your post was at 11:11 am.