I have been blessed to accomplish some wonderful things in my life in which the latest is taking an idea, shaping it into a story and writing my first draft of that story. However, the accomplishment I am “most” proud of is graduating from college. I am proud of this feat because it was a dream I almost had to give up.
I had always planned to attend college at UCLA and made sure that I met all of the college entrance requirements. However, in the summer between my junior and senior year in high school, I made a mistake. All it took was being “home alone”, a bottle of ill-gotten wine, and the Isley Brothers’ “Hello, It’s Me” on the record player. I became pregnant at the age of sixteen. I did not marry and became a single teenage mother three months before high-school graduation….. but I did make it to the prom and marched down the aisle to get my diploma.
So, now I had made a life-altering decision. All I wanted was to be a good mother and to go on to college. I turned eighteen 3 months after high school graduation and 1 month later I had a full-time office clerical job. The fall semester after my son turned two years old (and was potty trained), I started college at UH. With the help of my parents and my extended family, I parented my son, worked 40 hrs/week, and attended college. I took a minimum of 12 hours a semester, attended every summer session, and gave up all social activities. It took me 5 years instead of 4 but I made it through to graduation and acquired the one thing that can never be taken away from me……….an education.
Sometimes I look back on that experience and I am amazed at how I did it. It was so HARD but I was SO focused. I think if I had stopped and just thought about the magnitude of what I was doing I probably would have labeled it as “impossible” and gave up. But I did not stop and I did not give up.
And, this is why it is the accomplishment that I am most proud of.