Monday, May 18, 2015

Spartans Will... Graduate!

What a treat! This afternoon I was able to access these proofs of me from Arts and Letters Commencement last Sunday, May 10th 2015, where I walked for my French degree. These proofs are courtesy of Graduation Foto, and I can't stop staring at them. They mean so much to me, for three reasons.

1) I'm reminded that I only graduated a week ago. A week ago! That makes sense to me when looking at a calendar, but internally it feels like a month has already passed. When I posted these proofs on Facebook with the caption "Was that seriously only a week ago? Wow...", this conversation ensued between me and a friend named Kyle who also graduated with me:

Kyle: Right though? It feels like so much life has happened since that day.
Me: Haha, I know! I was talking to someone today and she said, "You just graduated? Congratulations!" And I was going to correct her and say no, I graduated like a month ago (it feels like it's been that long). But then I remembered it's only been a week.
Kyle: That literally just happened to me 5 minutes ago.What. Are. Our. Lives.
Me: Tell me about it! 

2) I. look. so. good! Please allow me to toot my own horn just for this one moment, because you've no idea how momentous it is for me to say something like that about myself. If you know me personally or have been reading my blog for a while, then it's not news to you that I have image and esteem issues. I have been a champion camera-dodger since elementary school. Take a quick look through all the photos I've taken during my travels, or all the pics I have on Instagram, and you'll see my face in very few of them. In fact, seeing myself in photos or on video has been one of my biggest triggers that can set me off sinking deep into what I call my depressive "dark cloud times". On any other occasion, if you ask me, I'll tell you that I am ashamed of how I look. But not so today, not with these photographs. I look beautiful! Stunning! Even the gap in my teeth peeking out in the last photo, the gap that I've always hidden in pictures by smiling with my mouth shut (also since elementary school), makes me beam on the inside instead of shuddering. That's me. And I look something fierce. 

3) Affirmation, affirmation, affirmation! I always question whether I'm doing enough or making the right decisions. It is difficult for me to feel assured that the things I'm doing are worthwhile or purposeful. But seeing myself in these proofs, I have evidence that I can use to testify to my own accomplishments. Graduation weekend, still so fresh in my memory, was one of the best times of my life because I was surrounded by love and light (as I'd said at the time, so many good things were being thrown at me at once!). It was also one of the best times because I finally got a chance to take look at myself and all that I'd done and say, Good job, Deela. you made it. And you did so much along the way. You really have achieved something, and you've got something sooo good going.  

"You are your own best thing", as Toni Morrison wrote at the end of her novel Beloved. Graduation weekend might've been the first time in my life when I honestly felt that in my heart. And to think, just last semester I was adamant about not attending commencement, because I neither felt I deserved to celebrate anything nor believed that I had anything worth celebrating in the first place. Pssh!

Lastly, as a bonus, here's a better quality photo of my #JMCBrownBeauties and I at Black Grad. Congrats and blessings to everybody making that walk this grad season. Glory be to God for all of you.

To read about more of my memories from graduation (both leading up to and during it), check out all the posts listed under this tag: Goodbye MSU

No comments:

Post a Comment