Three years ago, almost to the day, I was sitting on a bed just like this one. Same ugly, motel-like comforter and surprisingly puffy pillows, the same blank off-white walls. But it’s not the same bed, it’s not the same room, and I’m not the same person.
On that day in 2010, I felt forlorn and petrified as I retired to my room for the first night of my graduate career. I had no idea what to expect from the night itself, from the week of residency, or from the coming semester. I scribbled in my journal as if my life depended on it as I tried to assimilate this huge life step I had taken.
But now, here tonight, it’s that “ahhh, bra finally off!” feeling; home again. Having checked off the “live with a roommate” life experience after that first semester, I have roomed alone for the past five residencies, three of them in this very room. It may not be the Hilton, but it’s mine, all mine, for a whole week. The door locks and I can sit here and write with the guarantee that no offspring will spring from somewhere asking for something. And I don’t have to cook or scrub a thing! This is has been my vacation week every six months for the past three years.
Of course, there was always plenty of work to be done: workshops to attend, mind maps to draw, outlines to plan, bibliographies to research, and deep thoughts to be thunk, all leading to that final ‘Submit’ of the Study Plan before heading home to begin the real work. The first night always held a double dose of excitement and apprehension of what the week had in store, as well as – I’ll admit – a (tiny) sprinkling of missing my family.
But tonight, the only thing I’m missing is the worry.
This weekend is about celebration. An acknowledgement of the work I have done over the past three years. And done well. I can pat myself on the back because it’s not braggadocio to admit that I have accomplished and I learned a lot. I worked hard. I did create a new me, after all!
This graduate process has been intense. It has been exhilarating, painful, overwhelming, mind-blowing, and life-changing. I discovered very quickly that what I thought I was going to do when I first walked onto this beautiful campus wasn’t what I needed to do. But once I got out of my own way and let the study and writing lead me where it wanted, magic happened.
So, tonight, while sitting on my crunchy dorm bed, I celebrate. I celebrate “Trusting the Process” because it works.* I celebrate me and the gift I gave to myself. I am a better writer, a stronger, more confident woman, and a more accepting-of-self mother. I am singing again and I can say with pride that I am a Storyteller. I found my voice in more ways than one.
Thank you, Goddard College and all the amazing people who were traveling their own journey along with me and who have been all part of my new learning. I will miss you dearly. Thank you for the ride of a life time! From the womb room I am reborn. I will now go forth into my new life.
*And still working! Ever since I began this work, I have used a rambling, unclear explanation of all the threads of learning I have connected throughout this process, which was always slightly changing as I discovered another piece of the puzzle. But! After working on my graduate presentation for this weekend, a concise statement of understanding of my entire thesis project FINALLY arrived while I was in the shower just yesterday morning. Magic. It happens.
Read the entire 14-part “Trust the Process: The Goddard Chronicles” here.
6 thoughts on “Trust the Process (pt 14): The finale (or the beginning)”
First of all, allow me to congratulate you on reaching this milestone. Second I congratulate me for being a small part of your journey and in the process finding my own. From the first day I set foot in your workshop/class to this very post (which I NEEDED more than you will ever know) I knew you had found a special way to be a true inspiration to others and to serve in a manner that is in sync with your Soul’s desire. You provide a service to those who don’t even know they need it. You are the true example of what Joseph Campbell meant when he said “Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” Congratulations, Joanna, not just for graduating, but for having the COURAGE to follow your bliss.
Oh, thank you, Rose! I thank you for being there and encouraging me. And I am so proud of you for following your bliss too!
Congrats Jo! What a beautiful journey! I’m so happy for you to have found your true calling and your true self!
congratulations! and thank you for being a beacon of light for those of us, like me, who winding through the forest of unmarked paths in this journey of trusting the process at Goddard
Trust the process, trust the magic! (but also trust the dark, scary places – they are as much part of the journey and move us forward towards new light.)
So happy for you, Joanna. You have done well and will continue to be a beacon of warm light in this world that so badly needs it. Congratulations, dear friend.