Yield then Merge

12-15-12 The events of this past week flashback in a blur. Total chaos, a suiting climax to the months that came before. A perfect storm of exams, papers, meetings and presentations, all converging in a brief window of time; all seeming to carry the worlds weight in importance, and then over and done for good.
A few memories still ring a little more clearly than the rest. Standing in the bookstore to purchase my cap and gown; the kid behind the counter saying “I assume this is for a Master’s degree…” One last jab. One last reminder that I didn’t quite match the profile of my twenty-something year old classmates. (And if the point hadn’t been taken then, it surely would have when his co-worker called me Sir three times in our twelve second interaction.)
Then there was the night my computer took a dive… At three a.m… On the last paragraph of a 43 page final report. Luckily I was able to recover most of my work, but only after a very surreal half hour of failed attempts to reboot.
Beyond that the events blend with delirium that comes from sleep in bits and pieces. A half hour here, a couple more there; just enough to recharge and try to regain some coherency for whatever I was stumbling toward next. By midweek I was trembling. A couple days later experiencing flashing lights and body aches. Just trying to stay afloat, still trying to keep up with other obligations, and trying to deny the siren song of a road map that sat at the corner of my desk.
Then all of the sudden it was over and I was under the lights, looking up into the crowd at Carver Hawkeye Arena. I’d always dreamed of this moment. Of course, the dream usually entailed a half court buzzer beater shot and ended with the sound of a basketball pounding against my parents’ fiberglass garage door. As a ten year old chasing my own rebound, I never expected this to be my home court debut.
Graduating from college wasn’t as I’d imagined either. I guess I always figured that I would earn my degree, just not like this. Maybe not quite so long after I’d last flipped my tassel; but what can I say. I’ve taken a different path in life and I have no regrets. That path may have put me behind in some socially constructed schedule, but it has also allowed experiences most will never have. It let me build a unique foundation and a vision that’s all my own.
I was defiant toward school for a long time because it meant putting other experiences on hold. A lifestyle I loved and had fought hard to follow. It required that I pause and focus; sit still for a bit. I can see now that this was important too. It wasn’t all beneficial, and it wasn’t always fun, but the University of Iowa did help me to develop the skills I will need to get closer to where I want to be. Now it’s time to put all of life’s lessons together. To get out there, rekindle that spirit of adventure that had to lie dormant for a spell, and combine it with the new skills I’ve acquired.
I’m hoping these next few weeks will allow for that transition, and the reawakening that always seems to come with change.
It’s time to open that road map now…

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