Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May 19, 1996

Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of my college graduation. I walked with my peers on a unseasonably hot day and wore one of the biggest smiles of my life. It was a great day and I was so proud and I knew I was making those who loved me also very proud.

So what was next for me? I had to take classes that summer before I could officially be done. Then I packed up all my things and moved back home. I went from being on my own to being back in my pink childhood bedroom. I tore down the posters of Kirk Cameron and NKOTB and I went from sneaking cookies to sneaking cigarettes. I needed a job.

Turns out, I did not become the next big radio or television star. I did not become a teacher. I did not ever have my own corner office with a view. I never had my own assistant. I did have a company credit card for a few different jobs, but I am not sure I ever used it.

I have washed cars in the dead of winter in a business suit (Enterprise Rent-A-Car). I learned how to use computers and answer phones (Aetna U.S. Healthcare). I learned how to work with others (all jobs). I learned how to fundraise and work special events (WHYY, The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, and Jewish Federation). I learned how to market intake manifolds and control arms (Dorman Products) and then at the same company, how to buy them and then train on them. I learned how to blog, edit, proofread and freelance in general (HRDQ). Somewhere along the way, I learned that my jobs did not define me - I defined me. I learned it was alright to have a job that I liked, work with people that I enjoyed, and essentially have a good job but not necessarily a great career. I am proud of my degree and the experience that college was to me. I am pleased at the doors that it opened for me. I am just as happy, though, with what I have made of my life in the last 20 years.

If you had told me on May 19, 1996, then I would be a part freelance writer and part stay-at-home mom, I would have thought you were crazy. Surely by the year 2016, I would be using my Communications degree to do something extraordinary. And kids? I did not even want them back then. No way. 

If you had told me on May 19, 1996 that my mother and brothers would be such a strong sense of support for me as I grew into the woman I was meant to be, I would not have believed it.

If you had told me on May 19, 1996 that two of my strongest passions were raising awareness for stillbirth and for adoption, I would have thought you were nuts! Who has a stillbirth in this modern day and why in the world would I care about adoption when I did not even want kids?

If you had told me on May 19, 1996 that I would be married and own a home and that the highlight of my days was watching my daughter discover the world around her, I would have thought you did not know me at all. If you had told me that my house would be filled with superheroes and comic books, I would have laughed!

Life seldom turns out the way we think it will. My life did not, anyway. It turned out way way better.
Tyson Hall - 1993
Pledging Delta Zeta - 1993

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