In 2004, 2005, and 2007 at around this very time, I was writhing with excitement; my very favorite (in 04, my very first) summer event fast approaching. It was canceled due to location issues in 2006. I cried. This year, because of both location and time constraints, it will not be happening either. Which I suppose is basically alright, as it would likely have been happening this very weekend, and I'd have had to miss two days of it to begin with (graduation) and then would have (very likely) turned down attending a family reunion in favor of running with naked pagans through the woods. The family, I think, would not have appreciated the sentiment. 
Instead of filling my spiritual cup this first June weekend of 2008, I will be flying to Middle-of-Nowhere, Middle-America to meet what I hear tell is a very strange branch on my gargantuan family tree -my mother-in-law's family- and I actually think, as if its possible, that I am LESS excited than my husband, who is apparently the resident jungle gym to the battalions of swarming cousins, nieces and nephews. I know that not everyone on this side of the family knows that Josh and I are expecting. I don't know who doesn't know, or how the "news" (that is, showing up with a very evident baby bump in my Happy Bunny tee-shirt that says "When do I start glowing?") is going to be received. I'm always weird around people I don't know, and I'm not especially used to large family gatherings...or large families, on that note. I will also be expected to, for the first time in about 5 years, attend a church service. And through it, I'm sure, in my pretty green and white floral maternity sun-dress, I'll be pining for naked pagans in the woods.

Before all of this takes place, however, I'll have my enormous Friday morning event. I say enormous not because its the largest class CTC has ever graduated, but because it is wholly overwhelming to me. Its been eight long and incredibly eventful years since I graduated high school, May 31, 2000. But this is the first thing since then that I have successfully completed. I've had a string of either dead-end or worthless-to-me jobs. I've grown in ways I could never have imagined. I've also been a pretty bang-up Mom for the past five and a half of those eight years...but this is the first thing that I have finished. In ways, I can rationalize that it feels pretty small...there are plenty of 26-year-olds out there who are working on, or have completed post-graduate degrees, and I'm getting...ooohhh...my Associates. On the other hand, I'm achieving a pretty giant step, not just in terms of education, but in terms of self-image and self-worth. I have worked so hard for this. I should find out this morning if that Honors cord really gets to mean what its supposed to mean when I ask for my grade on my BIG paper. And even if that's my one slip, I've still made straight A's in every other class of every other quarter that I attended Chattahoochee Tech. I didn't get side-tracked or take any "breaks" from the program. I began in the fall of 2006, and completed the two-year program on schedule...even a little early...and all that with three developmental math courses in the mix. No one could be more surprised than I am that I even made A's in those.
I am both hugely relieved and brimming with pride at my accomplishment. There have been moments of feeling "unstoppable," and then reason sets in. It was not sheer power, but will that brought this to pass for me. I don't have to prove that I am a force to be reckoned with. I have to create my goals, one at time, and achieve each with the same determination and tenacity that has carried me this far. In the process of congratulating myself, I'd like to plug that I have been smoke-free for 10.5 months now. Again, that did not take strength, but strength of will.
Hmmm...life's lesson for the day: 
One does not have to be powerful to complete a task. To have the power of determination is to be equal to any task you assume. 

Dreaming, Family, Graduation...(upset stomach, diarrhea)...Yay! Pepto Bismol!
that's all

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