Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Time to GRADUATE!!!




It took long enough! I finally finished my Bachelor's Degree and graduated from Empire State College last week, after attending Howard University for three years in the very early 90's.

I wanted to finally do it because I realize I want my daughter to finish college and I had to set an example about finishing what you start, no matter what. But to be brutally honest (which is what we writers do) I have to admit that it was a MAN that made me finally stop procrastinating and finish college.

A few years ago, I was laying in the bed, post coital, having pillow talk with an ex boyfriend. He was venting about his finances and wondering aloud what he could do to improve his situation. I told him "Why don't you go back to school?" He had never finished college either and it made perfect sense to me that completing his degree would be helpful to him. And as he talked and made excuses---he didn't have the money, he didn't have the time, and so on, and so on ---I was about to offer him more encouragement, more reasons, more of my precious energy, then a small voice in my head said "Kerika, why don't you go back to school?" And that is exactly what I did. I realized in that moment that I was using my energy and time to encourage someone, albeit someone I loved, to do something to better himself when I still had some self-betterment to do. I realized it's easy to tell someone else what to do but it's hard to do it for yourself. So instead of wasting my time and energy trying to convince this young man to finish his degree I got up and put my energy into finishing my own damn degree!!!

It's been a good journey and I loved my school. They took many of my college credits and counted my lifetime experiences (I am a widely published photographer and writer after all) and I finally received my Bachelors of Arts degree on June 11, 2009.

But more than that I learned that sometimes we can put a lot of effort into loving and encouraging others but we have to start with ourselves.

So I challenge you to examine your life right now, and find ways that you can make moves to better yourself and enhance your life. It has to start with you. You can give people advice and suggestions but in the end the best you can do is set an example. The rest is up to them!

6 comments:

Samantha said...

Wow. I know it wasn't easy but I'm so glad you put the petal to the medal and did what u had to do for U!

Tabby said...

I'm right behind you, girl!

About Me said...

Excellent Kerika. Rarely do women (especially moms:) put themselves first and lift ourselves up. Which is sill if you think about it. How are we suppose to do "everything" if we aren't at our happiest and healthiest? Keep up the great work. We'll have to do some sort of JV together!

chanelre said...

you are an inspiration!

© T.I. Williams said...

I love it!

You are such an inspiration for your uncompromising honesty!

love and light,

t

VOD said...

Congratulations. How great is it that you're showing another black/brown girl a positive direction in which to go. :-)