I know, I know. I may kill this dead horse. As much as I say it’s not a big deal, it is.
I work among people who have their Master’s and Doctorates. Every single day, I’m around people who have higher degrees. So I often belittle my acquisition of one because I think — well, it’s no big deal. Everyone else around me has one.
But you know what? It is.
Several people in my life have pointed out that I came from a place where getting a Master’s degree probably wouldn’t have been attainable for many other people. I joked in one class that I’ve lived a life of trauma: poverty, homelessness, domestic violence, and rape. People aren’t supposed to bounce back from those kinds of things and do better than anyone expects them to.
I have. And I’m pushing myself further.
But I think that I push myself for that validation. I *am* someone. I am someone who is motivated and intelligent and worthy of that validation.
And then things happen that cause me to question myself. My mother, of course, didn’t come to my graduation (or my brother’s, for that matter). Our own mother couldn’t come out of her house to join in our celebration. Yes, she sent a card and a gift to each of us. But those are things. She lives in the same town and couldn’t even come — even though my Dad and all of my siblings came.
We had a party and not one of the people I invited came. While I work around a lot of introverts and I’m probably the worst of them, it still hurt. I understand it logically. I totally get it. But it hurt my feelings that none of them came. So this big celebration that was for both my brother and me became more about him because all of his guests showed up and few of them realized that I got my degree, as well.
He told me, though, that in the end, the people that really matter were there: my brothers and their families, my sister and her family, and my dad. And he was right.
I’ve accomplished something. I know I shouldn’t look outside of myself for validation but sometimes — just sometimes — it’s nice.Â Â You know?