It's My Graduation Day!
Last weekend I graduated from my one year Master's in Education program.
This past year has been filled with continual 70+ hour weeks. I finished up with nearly 40 straight days of working/studying 10+ hours per day. This accomplishment is significant to me because its a huge testament to my full recovery from brain injuries. Graduating an accelerated program like this showed me the standard of excellence I can continually operate on through drive, focus, dedication, habits, and well-intentioned supports.
Eight summers ago I was broken from a fall at Yosemite National Park. Four winters ago I was confined to a dark room for a month from another major concussion. Brain, body, and emotional traumas are what brought me to Thailand and Thailand is where I was intellectually exposed to my potential and received glimpses of my immense capacity.
The lifestyle I had developed in Thailand showed me where my passions lied and where to direct my energies. San Francisco is where I've gotten to put all of these ideas from my hammock in Thailand to work.
On Saturday, May 11th I graduated with all of my family in attendance (a feat that's only been accomplished in our divorced family a handful of times in my life). It was neat to see how my accomplishment was a reflection on each of their accomplishments. My brother, mom, dad, grandparents, and mom's boyfriend each have played significant roles in my development to and through this program.
I'm the first Badgley to get a graduate degree! But, for me this graduation doesn't feel anything close to the greatest accomplishments that I expect will come as a graduate to full on adulthood.
This year proved to me that there are many graduations still to come.
It showed me that my range of perspectives on my own cognitive well-being is actually a huge asset.
Graduating occupational therapy developed systems of organization that first functioned to minimize mental workload, but now function to fast-track a year of graduate school with a full-time job in an underserved school in one of the most expensive city in the world.
This was a year that gave me the confidence to propose to my fiance; the faith that we could overcome two visa rejections and traverse 7000 miles of distance seeing each other for a week over a year and a half.
Graduating gave me gratitude that there is a woman who truly loves me, will be my FaceTime alarm at 5:30 a.m. every morning, my Friday night fun, and the chef in my ears (her Thai food I've learned to cook is delicious).
Graduating grew my relationship with God. It was the dozens of prayers prayed in desperation that were often the only reason I had to believe in the dreams God's put in my heart. They have been undoubtedly answered when my finances seemed dire, or when the barriers of my own country made my relationship looked bleak.
I had evidence to show I had the capacity to handle all the duties I signed up for and keep People of Purpose alive and thriving. But now God has given me a team of five and now all I get to do is what I love to do - write, prepare, and interview.
My grandma is ecstatic about my graduation because it means I have a career ahead of me. I'm excited because I know I can create careers and use my gifts for massively purposeful impact in the world. And I didn't have to run away from my upbringing to do so. I am so lucky to be unconditionally loved by everyone in my family and for all of us to be together peacefully and joyfully again.