It is officially 39 days until we complete the presentation and defense of our thesis for our Masters. I see myself barely able to contain the joy and ecstasy as I stand in front of that crowd... and I hope I don't burst into tears in the middle of it. I will try to contain my lunacy until I exit the room, I promise. Over the last couple of weeks I have conducted countless interviews, sat in on meetings, symposiums, presentations, and researched until I thought my eyeballs were going to start bleeding. I think at one point they did. Clearly I haven't blogged, nor have I cooked a normal meal, worked out more than once a week, gone grocery shopping, or showered (I'm kidding about that one). I have realized in my treks around Seattle to these various meetings that since I moved to the Seattle area, I really haven't been able to fully LIVE in the Seattle area. Upon my relocation, I began work and school immediately, went through a terrible breakup, and have been working and going to school full time ever since. There has not been a single moment of my life since I graduated from high school that I have been able to process a thought that hasn't had *homework* behind it. I cannot wait to actually LIVE here and experience it... without thinking about writing a paper when I get home.
Of course life has tossed nearly everything possible at us throughout this time as well; sickness, loss, pain, death, surgeries, massive transition, tragedy, etc. But when I reflect on the past few years, I don't think of any of it in a negative light. I see growth, joy, knowledge, self-awareness, births, the election of a hero, cancer's remission, new opportunities, new friends, bonds and relationships, beauty, memories, and experiences that will last at least my lifetime. Of course there has been stress, struggle, sleepless nights and countless Red Bulls, not to mention the wine. But I would not trade a single moment of it for anything. Because the moment that we walk across that stage together knowing everything that we have faced in the last few years and that we all made it, successfully and still standing strong... well ... words cannot describe such joy and triumph. I have been blessed for the last year+ to sit in a room with people that I so deeply respect and admire, all for different reasons. What everyone brings to the table in regards to knowledge, experience and SOUL is something that a value cannot be placed on. My educational experience would not have been the same without each and every one of you. We have had some amazing leaders and professors, and yes, a couple of questionable ones. We have dragged our asses out of bed on Saturday morning to hang out in uncomfortable chairs ALL DAY long, we have cried, we have laughed, we have eaten, we have pissed and moaned, and we have drank. A lot. We have forged some friendships that we are going to have for the rest of our lives. On December 5th we are going to walk out of that room.. and probably go home and pass out. For awhile. And then we are going to go on with our lives... until June 13th when we reunite, don the robes, and skip our happy feet across that stage to the cheers of our friends and family in the audience, and of course the cheers of our fellow cohort members. As of now, we have 39 days to put every last drop of energy we have left into the project that is going to culminate our academic experience, and of course the expenditure of about $30,000, more or less in some cases. We are amazing, we are fabulous, we are inspirational, we are strong, compassionate humans. We have a voice...we are leaders. And I am proud to call you my cohort.
With so much love and gratitude to each of you,
Emily Jo Enger