Last month I graduated and received my Master’s in Social Sciences. Super awesome.
It wouldn’t be my first time wrapping up some sort of educational program, but I had never done the whole cap and gown thing before – middle school, high school, other college degrees. Other things always came up.
I don’t know if I want to continue with my education. I’m probably done. So I figured (last-minute, mind you) that yes, I’m doing it. I’m driving to the University and walking across the stage.
Now, I had finished my last courses online, was already settled in Maryland and my University is located in Alabama. We are also a single income family supporting five people, a dog and a cat. So, for me, this was a big deal in more ways than one.
But I didn’t want to regret never doing it later, and I thought it would be nice to have the pictures later for the kids to see. Unfortunately, my husband couldn’t go with me and neither could any of my friends.
So it would be a solo trip.
I had never driven so far by myself before.
I decided to frame it differently. This would be a chance for me to do something big, on my own. To pull over when I want. Stop at the tourist traps I want. The only requirement was I made it to graduation on time.
And then, suddenly, I found myself excited. I was really enjoying the sense of freedom. Even just driving by myself without much to see, was fun. Pulling over to look at rivers, or cows or turtles and gigantic flea markets. Visiting friends and family I hadn’t seen in years, and not having to worry about every day stress.
I spent the days leading up to graduation winding my way through the smoky mountains, enjoying pink skies as the sun set.
Then I lounged on a Pensacola beach watching the Blue Angels fly overhead.
The day before graduation I got to enjoy lunch with a professor of mine before going antiquing.
I spent the weekend after at a Flea Market with my best friend and then enjoying Mother’s Day with my Aunt and Grandmother at the Outer Banks.
On my way back home I stopped for fudge and chocolate covered strawberries in Williamsburg.
It was fantastic.
And between each of those things, it was just me, in my car, singing car karaoke and enjoying my own company.