And just like that, it was over. Roll Credits. Yesterday we ended the program in style. I am not yet used to the fact that I won’t be seeing the same faces every day that I grew to love. But I do enjoy the feeling when a chapter closes just right. The excitement of new possibilities, the reflection of your recent accomplishments, and the opportunity to sleep in on a Tuesday. As a nomad, four months in one place is just about right, which is why I am writing to you from an airplane. In a few hours I will be touching down in Los Angeles for a little decompression. After all, I’ve earned it!
The last few months have been challenging, and I’ve learned some things about myself in the process. I’ve watched my classmates grow throughout this program and I could feel myself growing as well. If you can remember the humiliation I shared in my first blog post from my first presentation, I went from not being able to speak about a topic I know lots about (water filtration in the back country) without forgetting my speech and dumping water all over myself, to our last field exam where I dressed up in 1800’s garb and acted out a monologue for strangers, in front of random people in the streets of Gastown. Our whole class constructed and presented our own walking tour and put it on for the business students at the downtown campus. I’ve watched our beloved little Sarah go from barely being able to introduce herself to climbing trees, making jokes, sharing insight, and becoming an irreplaceable member of the team. I’ve seen people develop and refine skills they probably didn’t even know they had.
This morning as I visited my sister before leaving town I asked her if she noticed anything different. Her brows furrowed as her eyes scanned me looking for a change. A haircut perhaps, or maybe I finally tweezed my eyebrows. No, she couldn’t detect a thing as I did a little spin, so she could fully investigate. “I am a college graduate!”, her concentrated face broke into a grin and she gave me a hug. As I said the words out loud they sunk in a little deeper. I am a college graduate. I am ready to enter an industry I love and dedicate the next decade of my life to becoming an expert in my field. Whether I am working, or on an expedition, it is all relevant to the career choice I made; and my office has the best view! Starting my next adventure, I hopped on the train, and headed for the airport.