Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tazi's Corner #44 - Tazi's Mommie Graduates! (And Says A Few Words About It).

Dear Readers,

My name is Kimberly, and I am the Editor behind Ask Tazi! I would like to thank Tazi for giving me this space to say a few words on this very special day! I realize you come here to hear the thoughts and musings of my smug little kitty, and I thank you for your loyalty. What started out as a two-week college Writing class project has bloomed into something I could never have imagined...and I suppose that is one of the amazing things about college; it brings you opportunities that you once never dreamed could occur.

Today I will graduate from the University of Rhode Island with a long-postponed degree in Gender and Women's Studies, and a minor in Writing and Rhetoric (I continue to work towards my Bachelors in Biology, a separate project altogether). This is actually my third college graduation - I hold a Bachelors in Communications from Rhode Island College and an Associates in General Science from the Community College of Rhode Island. A life-long hockey fan, I am excited to be completing this particular hat trick! It has taken me six years going to school both part and full time to complete this journey, and as I look ahead towards my future I look back to what brought me here.

Shortly before I returned to school I was advised to walk the Path of Humility, that only this would lead me to the Gates of Grandeur. At the time I thought the Gates of Grandeur were just that - the gates to a grandiose living style that would afford me fine jewelry, a luxury car, and expensive bottles of wine. After all, a college degree is the key to success, is it not? My first degree had treated me quite well, in spite of the career burnout, so I expected even greater things from subsequent degrees. Looking around me, I realize that I have received more than I ever would have without my degrees...but these gifts are gifts of the spirit, something no amount of money could ever buy.

I have spent the last several years working as a Tutor at my state's community college (we are small, so we only have one). There I have had the opportunity to work with students of all walks of life, of all intelligence and ability levels. Having fallen into the niche specialty of working with students with disabilities I have met brilliant people whose intelligence rivals that of the greatest scientists, but who are seen as disabled because they suffer from Autism or dyslexia or severe anxiety or any number of invisible handicaps that make their learning journey an uphill one. Working with them, I put my Communications degree to use in ways I never had - to actually communicate with people in order to achieve a greater good, not for a quick sale on overpriced merchandise. What a feeling!

Many of my former students have gone on or will go on to staggering educational heights - Nursing school, Medical school, Colleges of Engineering, and PhD programs in scientific research. I am immensely proud of every single one of them and grateful to them, as well, because they have helped me to walk my Path of Humility, whether they realize it or not. Seeing their successes fills my heart with joy...the grandest gift of all. I am not jealous of them, nor do I begrudge them their successes, for I know the hard work and commitment that goes into achieving such success...and I know that their path is not my path to walk, but my path to walk with them for just a short while, to help them through the potholes on the highway of life.

This was the most important lesson I learned in college: That not all paths are the right path, and not all paths are permanent. Embrace change.

Each of us has a path to walk. Sometimes we will think we have found it, only to discover it leads to a dead end. We must remember that such an outcome does not make the journey a wasted one; maybe it was our fate to assist someone we met along the way, to help them along their path until our roads diverged.

This past week, I turned 40, an age I have always seen as age where I always thought I would have my life all figured out and completely together (a thought that now makes me laugh derisively). As I look around me, I see a large circle of dedicated friends, old and new; I see a large extended family of blood relatives and those who are simply related by the bonds of deep friendship; I see the man I love, who still makes my heart beat faster after all the years we have been together (which is six, for those who are counting!). My circle of support is mind-blowing, and if I tried to thank them all personally it would take a year and a day to type all of their names; they know who they are, but if you are reading this and wondering if you are among them then wonder no more: the answer is yes.

As I look towards the future, I see a lot that is still unknown and undecided. I see the need for a well-paying full-time job as well as success as a freelance writer to pay for a looming student loan debt and to assist my mother in her retirement, something she has put on hold in order to see me through my schooling. (Thanks, Mom!). These things do not scare me as they once did, because I have learned that the Gates of Grandeur do not lead to a mansion on a hill - not anymore, at least; not for me.

For me, the Gates of Grandeur open into a life secure in the knowledge that no matter how useless I sometimes feel, I am somebody's pillar of support. It is the security of knowing no matter how many times I fall, there will always be someone there to help lift me up and move forward; that no matter how impossible my dreams, there will always be people cheering me on as I tilt at windmills. I am such a lucky woman!

Dare to dream your impossible dream


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Kim, for being such an amazing part of my life. You are a true hero and inspiration to us all. I wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors. CONGRATULATIONS ON A FABULOUS JOB WELL DONE!! YOU GO GIRL!!