Just for me…

I know I’ve already celebrated getting this degree but with the arrival of my diploma in the mail, I want to say something else about it.

From the time I was a little girl, I always intended to go to college. It was the centerpiece of my escape plan. I needed college to get the kind of job that would keep me from needing anyone to help me financially. It would (and did) give me freedom and the permission to say “no” to my abusive background and walk away.

Later I would get a masters degree while working crazy hours because I felt I had something to prove. I needed it to justify being given opportunities in a male dominated tech world. I wanted to point to it and say “See, no one did me a favor. I worked for this.” And I had. I didn’t need that degree to prove it…but it sure felt like it at the time. Anything to offset the crime of being a woman in their world taking up space. But really nothing has ever offset that crime has it? So eventually I just let my brain and strong voice be my answer to the indictment.

But this one…this 2nd Masters. It’s just for me. I don’t need the credentials. I have nothing to prove. And still in the midst of a pandemic and keeping a team employed and afloat…I got this degree.

This one was for me. I’m proud to have paid for it without loans. I’m proud to have gotten perfect grades. Im proud of the weekends I gave up and the crazy hours so I could attend lectures or do group meetings halfway around the world. I’m proud of the work I’ve done to define my core values and who I am as a leader.

This one was just for me. The ultimate act of self-care.

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