26 de mayo del 2016, jueves
Today’s throw back could not have been more appropriate. My journey to this day has been unique-to say the least. I have had every odd against me. I am a minority, I am a woman, I come from a single parent household (I love you mom!), I grew up in the “ghetto,” statistics said I’d be knocked up by 15 and work at a dead end-minimum wage job the rest of my life and probably end up on welfare. Seeing the world? Forget it. Well, I used every odd to my advantage except I didn’t get knocked up and sometimes worked up to three jobs to pay for rent, bills, and school.
I got into San Jose State right out of high school. I took some classes but nothing seemed to appeal to me. I changed my major about 7 times. Yeah, I know, “that’s too many times!” My favorite was being an art student, I liked carrying around a portfolio half my size but an Art Professor told me I didn’t have it takes, that my hand was “like a five year olds.” Find a new major. I was disqualified, twice, from San Jose State. We just were not a good match-there was something wrong with me.
I went to San Jose City College to get my grades up and try yet another major and another career path. I made it on the President’s list and was sought out to join the Honor Society. I received my Associates of Arts in Humanities and decided it was time to go back to San Jose State as it was the closest to me. They were impressed with how I had changed and accepted me back in with restrictions and ridiculous forms and fire hoops to jump through. They did everything they could to dissuade me and to set me up for failure yet again. I couldn’t take it. I had to think about what I really wanted and what my passion was. And suddenly, there it was. It had been staring at me in the face all along. How did it not click until this moment? My bookshelf. My passion is reading. I needed to find a place where I could spend time with Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Austen, Tolstoy, and Wilde. Was this actually possible and where? San Francisco.
I rejected San Jose State and was welcomed to San Francisco State with open arms. There was no way I’d ever be able to afford to live in the city and my only option was to commit to a two hour commute-each way. This was not impossible. Lots of people do this commute and there is no reason why I can’t too. Everyone I told about my decision immediately raised their eyebrows and with big eyes assured me I did not know what I was getting myself into. They were right. I have spent the best two years of my life learning, being challenged, and surprising my self (I made it on the Dean’s List!) at San Francisco State. I was advised by a most admirable woman, a Professor that intimidated all the Juniors in her GWAR class. She guided me, grounded me, and encouraged me to keep dreaming.
I received my diploma in the mail in April and today I get to cross that tassel from the right to left side with my fellow English Major graduates.
This moment means more to me than anything. It is something I alone have struggled to attain and for that- it is appreciated all the more.
There is one person I cannot go on without thanking, a person who has royaly fucked up, and a person whose heart is as broken as mine.
Fitz, I can’t begin to explain how grateful I am for your endless encouragement and helping me become the person I have always dreamed to be. Thank you for giving me a hugs, shots of vodka, bloody Mary’s, and ciders when the stress of it all had me crying on the couch. Thank you for waking up at 7am to make me breakfast, for driving me to the train after a closing shift at work, and for making delicious dinners just so I could continue with school work uninterrupted. Thank you for celebrating my A’s, watching all those Shakespeare plays, The Supersizers go…Restoration, Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian. Thank you for the love you have given me, I appreciate who you are and everything that you do-I’ll never forget it. We did it!