In February of 2009, I wrote this.
I had gone through things, learned things, and overcome things, and I declared it graduation day. The only thing I had yet to understand was there were more doors to walk through, and more work to be done--so much more. So whether I liked it or not, I was signed up by my life to learn harder lessons, which I did. And along with spring breaks and glimpses of a bright future, the work was as grueling as it gets. I was thrown into fire, and just as soon as I would stand to recover, I'd be thrown back in again, until burning became too familiar.
In February of 2009, I did graduate, I just didn't know what it meant. I thought I was finished, done, complete, and free, only to discover I knew nothing about myself in relation to what I needed to know, or to be worthy of my diploma.
It's October of 2010, and tonight I sit surrounded by packed boxes in an apartment where he and I dreamed of, but could not build a beautiful life. But I feel empathy, not empty, resigned, not resentful. I'm disappointed, not in despair, and I'm not disillusioned because I no longer have them. Illusions.
I have something better--an education, a master's degree in Me. And when the day comes that I am surrounded by boxes unpacked, it won't be the thing that was lost in storage, unmarked, or broken. It will be the thing that reminds me there is only one direction for me to go, and that I've done my time standing in fire.
I get it now. I know who I am. I know what I'm worth.