After a long, arduous battle, I have finally become what I have most wanted to be: a college graduate.
I know that I could have taken an easier road. I know that I could have gone to a less expensive, public institution. I know that I would have been able to complete a Bachelor's in time. And I know that I would be in the same place.
I know that the road I chose was not ideal. I know that. I know that it was expensive.
But I also know that the sense of accomplishment would never have happened anywhere else.
To be honest, I hardly feel it now.
I have a Bachelor of the Arts in Anthropology, with minors in Spanish Language and Religious Studies.
But I'm not impressed.
If I graduated from such a prestigious institution, why am I living with my parents? Why am I working a part-time, minimum wage job?
Why can't I be Indiana Fucking Jones? I mean, besides the fact that I don't want to be Indiana Fucking Jones.
But why didn't I have the same opportunities as some of my peers? I never got to travel abroad, I never got to work an internship, I never had a TA position. And now, I don't have a job.
Obviously I know it's not that easy. But I at least thought that by 26, I'd be working somewhere, like the basement of a museum, or in a dark dingy lab, or even as a gopher for the higher-ups in archaeological planning. I wasn't wanting much. But I didn't get any of it.
But I still have hope. I still have ambition.
And damn it, I'm too fucking stubborn to be satisfied with my current situation!
I WILL be an archaeologist. I WILL work for (or perhaps own) a contracting company. I WILL bring peace to those who have been raped of their identities. And if I go broke trying, then I will go broke trying.
I am so fortunate to have a family that puts up with me. I am so lucky to have a place to go. I am lucky to get to borrow vehicles, to have a job, to have food, to have people who care.
Despite all of that, life is still a "one day at a time" struggle. But at least THAT was then. There is always tomorrow.
Soon, I'll have my boots, my safety vest, my trowel, my shovel, my flags, my stakes, my grids, my logs, my gloves, my picks, my rulers, my soil analysis kit... and my dignity.
I know it won't be easy. I know it will be stressful. I know it will be a challenge. I know I will have to force myself to do this every day for the rest of my life. I know this.
But if I've gotten this far, why quit?