Monday, April 10, 2017

"Congrats on Graduating!" ... But I'm Not.

Taken during this weekend's studying frenzy, hence the flash cards everywhere.
Since Saturday, I've received postcards and phone calls congratulating me on my upcoming graduation. "You must be excited! May 6th will come before you know it!" It gets a little awkward when I have to say "Oh, thank you... but I'm not graduating yet. I'm not scheduled to graduate until December." You can hear a pin drop while the information registers in the mind of whoever called. Cue the awkward pause and nervous chatter that follows it.

Long story short, I was scheduled to graduate this semester but, for reasons only God knows, it had to be pushed back from this May to this upcoming December; from the end of Spring semester to the end of Fall semester. I don't think they've updated their database at Utah State (where I'm currently on track to finish my second Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education) because, well, I keep getting these calls and things in the mail. Oh, I still asked for the tassel to be sent to my house since I'll technically finish in the year 2017 and I want that tassel that says 2017. lol.

I've actually been thinking a lot about school and graduation in the last couple of weeks. Actually, scratch that; it's been on my mind for months. I was going to wait a bit longer to write about this but, well, it's been a big theme for me this Lent: I'm not even sure that I'm going to finish this degree. Only three of my closest friends have known about this for weeks because I've asked for their opinions and/or just needed to get the thoughts that were bouncing around in my mind out into the open.

No, I'm not quitting... exactly. In the past couple of weeks/months -- especially following the end of the 54-day Rosary novena -- I've felt like God is calling me down a different path on which I won't need this degree. I don't know whether that means I won't be working in this field too long after graduation or if it means that a job will come along which will pull me away from finishing this degree... but it's something along those lines. I'm perfectly at peace with either option. I've gained a lot of clarity which has brought that inner peace during this Lenten season.

First, the main theme for this Lent seems to have been a renewal and recommitment to trusting God despite my fears. The doctor appointments / random ER visit, the last-minute trip to Mexico, and the other things I will eventually write about in the coming days and weeks... it's all been about trusting God.

I can almost hear God asking me, "do you trust me?" whenever a difficult situation comes up.

"Yes," I answer, though, truthfully, sometimes it's done with some apprehension because letting go is easier said than done. More like "I'm trying to but, yes, it's ultimately what I want to do."

"Then let go and let Me take care of it," I can imagine Him saying to me.

I let go of a fear about something I needed to take for my health. After having had a number of adverse reactions to medications and allergies and intolerances to foods, I'd developed a fear of trying anything new out of fear of ending up in the hospital. I'll hopefully find out if what I'm taking (while I haven't been taking for very long) has made a bit of difference. My doctors were finally able to get me a hematology appointment after trying to get it approved for years (yes, years plural). I hope that we'll soon know why my red and white blood cells, as well as my platelets, have been on a downward trend in the last couple of years. I'm still hoping the answer is as simple as it being a result of my health crashing from overdoing it and not taking care of myself three years ago -- then the relapse following the car accident a year and a half ago -- as well as a poor diet that has led my folate level to be at dismal number/level.

Just like I let go of that fear to do something that will make me healthier, I'm going to let go of my fears of financial instability. I'm going to let God guide me down whatever career path He wants me to take, even if it's something radically new. He knows better than I do what I need to do in order to do His will. If I somehow do end up having to leave the degree unfinished, I'm not going to regret or lament it.

Not finishing the degree won't mean that I've quit out for selfish reasons or because I couldn't handle it. It'll simply mean that I've chosen to follow God's path for me rather than my own. I've already made peace with the fact that I'm not going to go back and finish my Master's in Theology either. Oh, I've received a lot of clarity about that (no Theology MA) and I'm owing that to St. Francis de Sales who seems to have somehow become my (surprise/unplanned) patron this Lent. Again, I'm not sure if this will happen but I'm at peace with it if this is what ends up happening.

If I do end up finishing this degree -- which is looking like the most likely outcome at this point -- I've already made the decision not to attend the graduation ceremony. After hearing about how graduation is celebrated in Italy (shout out and a public "congrats!" to my good friend, Francesca, who received her Master's degree in Italy last month) and comparing it to how it's celebrated in the States, I decided against it. It's not my style. Need I remind longtime readers what I did during my first undergrad graduation ceremony? lol. If I finish this degree, I'll opt for a homemade dinner with family and close friends; a way of thanking them for all their support. Okay, maybe I'll add a trip to Disneyland to celebrate if I can afford it. lol.

Everything is up in the air in terms of the future of my education and career but that's okay. I have plans for the current path I'm in: finish the degree in December, work on the required (in CA) 100 supervised hours before receiving my license to become a speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) either March through May or September through November of 2018 (depending which school/program I can complete the hours in), and then start working. I'll continue down this path until God makes His will for me clearer.

I can technically begin working as an SLPA in other states because I've already completed the required 25 supervised hours that many states ask for (I completed them last semester) so maybe God will call me to work in another state that doesn't have as many requirements in CA as soon as I graduate. Maybe the autobiography I'm ghostwriting (have I written about that yet?) will kick-start the writing career I've always dreamed about. I don't know. All I know is that I've placed my future in God's hands and I trust that He will lead me to Him... and that's all I want.

Anyway, I wanted to write and this is what came out. I don't know how much blogging I'll get done this week. I'm starting to study for finals and then we (Mom and I) are going to try to do only what's necessary from Thursday evening through Sunday morning; for the Paschal Triduum. That means no music (uber hard for me), no TV (not sure if Mom can go without TV, lol), and little to no online time (it'll depend on a group project but I'll most likely choose to not use my laptop nor the iPod touch during the Triduum). I do have reading and studying planned since I need to study and the reading is all centered around the Passion and my relationship with God but that's about it.

If, in your charity, you can please say a pray for clarity regarding my education and career path, I'd greatly appreciate it. :)

I hope you are all having a lovely start of the week! :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

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