Although I’ve been done with school since July, the formal commencement for my class wasn’t until December. Most people in our program elect not to walk. But not me, Jen, and Suzanne. We signed the fuck up. Ordered our caps and gowns. Showed up at an ungodly hour, prepared to sit for hours, which we did.
As we sat there, we discussed why it was important to us to do this. “It’s a symbol other people recognize,” Jen said and I realized that was it. This outfit was something to be proud of (even if I hadn’t ironed mine and had just ripped it out of the bag in the parking lot). Even though we had been finished since July, it was these symbolic gowns we donned that made it official to the world around us that we had done something big and important to develop ourselves.
The last time I graduated, I was pregnant. Afraid of what I had done, what I was making of my life, of what would become of me. But this time, when I graduated, it is with five forthcoming publications and the best friends of my life and belief that the best is yet to come.