This is my last day of graduate school and I cannot stop crying.
People keeping asking me, “Are you excited?!” and it feels phrased in such a way that they really want me to be excited. I know that on some level I am excited. I’ve been working toward this goal for almost 4 years now, so yes, let’s celebrate! Let’s dance and sing of all the hard work, the late nights, the papers and projects that led to this moment.
But right now all I can feel is sad. This is the place and these are the people that have formed me. I came here so wounded from life that this school has been my incubator; I have been embraced here like I’ve never experienced before, and I have been changed by the people here. I am changed because of the people here.
I have been loved into life. My peers, my friends, my professors have loved me in such a way that they have breathed life into me, and I am forever changed.
I do not doubt that today will bring laughter, dancing and singing; but for now, right now, I will not hide my tears, either.
I will feel the loss of this school that has been my center while I attempt to find a new equilibrium; but for now, right now, I rub my tears into my cheeks and say a prayer of thanks.
Soon I hope to toast my accomplishment with friends near and far; but for now, right now, I sit in the sadness that comes when good things end.
This is what I have been trained for: to sit in the tension of endings and beginnings; that life is not black and white but swimming in gray; that sorrow and brokenness is not the end of the story.
This is the holy work of becoming a person.
I hope to never forget this day.