Another non-food post. But at least I will reference food in this one!
Six years ago, my husband was in a not-great place. He had spent almost ten years working in the construction field as an administrator. It was not a good fit for him in many ways and it was taking its toll. He was perpetually exhausted, always angry, never in a good mood and almost never home. It was impacting our relationship, our future plans and his physical and mental health. So he took a big step: he quit.
He drifted for a bit, not sure what he wanted to do, not sure if he’d made the right decision. He wrestled with self-doubt, anxiety, fear and the feelings of dread when he thought about his future. He felt he had let me, his family and himself down. He felt like a failure.
Four years ago he went back to college, for a second degree. He chose Veterinary Technology, which is essentially a nursing degree but with animals instead of people. He worked his ass off for four years. He wrestled with self-doubt, anxiety, fear and feelings of dread when he thought about his future. He often felt as though he was going to fail and let himself, his family and me down. He felt the pressure and stress of deadlines, struggles to understand concepts and fear that he would not finish. It took its toll on our relationship, our family, our future plans and his physical and mental health.
Today, he graduates. With a grade point average of 4.0. At the honors convocation last night, he won an academic excellence award from his program, received his gold honors cords because he is graduation summa cum laude and he learned that he is co-valedictorian of the entire graduating class of the college. He is sharing valedictorian with his best friend at school, who also earned a 4.0.
Today, he is filled with feelings of accomplishment, joy, relief and pride. I share these with him and I am excited for our future plans. There will be stress, there will be fear and there will be dread. I am ok with this because I am hoping that now he knows, to the core of his soul, that he is not a failure, that he has not let anyone down and that he is capable of anything.
After the ceremony, I’ll pick up the kids (who are far too little to both miss their nap time at daycare and attend what will be a long, grown up, full of talking and quiet sitting ceremony) and we’ll have dinner at my husband’s favorite steak house, Flemmings. We’ll celebrate this ending and the new beginning before us.
We’ll be proud.