WPC: Graduation Achievement

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This is the best picture of achievement that I can come up with and it’s powerful because me and the person that has been connected to me since birth – my mother – is in it . I graduated from Baker College of Jackson in June 2014 with an Associate Degree in CAD/Design. It is a small college but the turnout to the graduation was much bigger than I expected (at least that was with two branches of Baker combined – Jackson and Coldwater). This picture taken with my mom symbolizes everything she hoped out of me – to become successful and live a good life, getting the best out of this world, not letting anything get in my way. I had never felt so happy and excited when I walked up onto the stage to receive my degree, in front of a packed house of graduates and their eager families. The buzz in the air that night was amazing. I kept thinking to myself, “I’m a college graduate, the first one in my immediate family, and I have something to be proud of.”

It was something to be very proud of. I worked hard to earn that degree. Showed up to class everyday even though sometimes I felt like it was no use since the work was kind of lame and we were often let out of class early. But taking a challenge to learn something new is my victory from that college. I still have no job from earning the degree, but am thinking about going for my Bachelor’s sometime next year, maybe in the same field, maybe not, depends on my present interests.

Receiving that rose I have with me in the photo also uplifted my spirits to uncharted levels. It symbolized hope and a breath of new life, that I had succeeded, had beat out the pack. A victory rose. I felt like clenching it in my teeth but that would have looked silly. It smelled and looked so good at that moment. I felt like a champion for that one night. Being a part of a large group of graduates (only 4 in my field though) made me feel special.

The best part about my graduation from college? People actually clapped for me this time, unlike my high school graduation where I was one of the last to graduate (seated in the very back row) and when my name was called all I got was one rather loud and sarcastic “woot” before I received my diploma placeholder, got my picture taken awkwardly, and went behind the curtain. I felt rather disappointed and heartbroken that I didn’t get the round of applause I was hoping for, but fast forward four years later and I suddenly felt a lot better. But life didn’t stop there though. I have to keep pushing myself to achieve new things. To leap boundaries and prove that I can do anything I set my mind to. My third graduation should be even more exciting. To make my family and everyone else around me even more proud of me is my crowning achievement.


Photo Challenge for Week of November 14: Achievement

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Dream Retrieving

Today you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your post must mention a dark night, your fridge, and tears (of joy or sadness; your call). Feel free to switch one ingredient if you have to (or revisit one from previous trio prompts).


dream18a

The more somber part of my experiences takes me to a dark, spooky, and desolate ghost town…

An eerie breeze can be heard. The metal sign hanging from the porch of an old shophouse claps in the wind.
Suddenly inside the shophouse, I am standing in front of a crazy old hillbilly sitting in a rocker; he passes me a scratch off lottery ticket; the scene is very short and vague; I believe there is a fire burning in a grate behind us, shining across the wooden floor panels. Then it is morning the next day and police are doing investigations at the place. What happened between me getting the lottery ticket and the lawmen showing up? Did the hillbilly kill me or give me an illegal ticket? I remember him having a red plaid shirt on and sporting a pretty healthy looking countryman beard. He didn’t seem to be there when the police were searching the place so maybe he’s a wanted man who has run off somewhere.

Next, after easing into my rapidly deteriorating dream state, I am standing at the end of a hallway that is clearly like the one in my current home; there are two rooms on either side; one is my actual room and the other is my sisters; it is a debate in my head between going in one or the other. When I enter the room on the right, the door suddenly breaks off its hinges and hangs there. The first thing I see is an open fridge without the freezer on top; my dad has his head in it and is eyeing some donuts on the top door shelf. I grab a sticky chocolate one at the same time he does, our hands nearly colliding with each other. I now look at the hanging door and don’t believe I can stay in this room. I discuss it with dad and mom, who is also in the room. They tell me to go try the other room across the hall.

As I stand in the foyer of the second room and stare into the entrance on the right, I feel a lot more content and joyous; Mom is standing behind me in the hallway and seems happy as well; I believe there are tears of joy in her eyes as she stares back at me. I walk into the room, which seems endless, and start admiring the square pictures and notes on the walls, some of them featuring moments from my childhood, stuff dedicated to me. On the first wall to the left as I enter the domain is a corkboard with an open card tacked to it:

Happy Birthday, Matt

Mike

“Mike” is obviously written in my dad’s handwriting but I still think it is actually from my Uncle Mike. As I walk further on towards the “end” of the room, I see a message on the wall from a Kaley, and I immediately think it is from Kaley Cuoco (my mind conjures up an image as well).

Soon, as I turn to the right wall behind me, I come to a note talking about a writing program that is trying to get to D.C and get accepted to write articles for the United States government. The note also says they need volunteers and I feel terrible for not seeing this earlier.

Suddenly, I am taken out of my room and end up inside an indoor football field. Barack Obama and his crew are standing on the far right side of the field (near my right eye) and on the left side, the “writers” are buried underground and sticking their arms out the soil into the air, trying to get Obama’s attention. Obviously Barack doesn’t notice them and has a smug grin on his face.

dream15a

Another sharp twist of my swirling vortex of thoughts takes me to a much darker moment in the sleepy town of Spring Arbor where I used to live. In an old Buick parked in the driveway of a grey house I moved out of four years ago, I am sleeping face down, as if crazily drunk. The car is from from a John that my mom was seeing for a while but is now a distant friend. The Buick was a hunk of junk and broke down not long after it was used.

Now I see “Dad”, who looks like Ted Beneke from Breaking Bad, coming out of the house.

Then I am inside the house, going into my room down the hallway on the right. Around the “L” shaped corner of the room on the left, I see my bed made with a sign on the end board:

God Gave Us Christ’s Child

Wow. What a message to see in my dreams. That’s surely a sign (no pun intended). That never existed there in real life so something truly remarkable is going on here.

Now, sitting in the front row of the auditorium of my high school, I am attending a play or dance recital; I am near the railing on the right. My dad comes by (not Ted Beneke) to pick me and my sisters or something special up, I’m not quite sure. Someone is expertly showing off their Beethoven skills on stage.

The curtain closes and the black dressed ballerinas exit stage left. Curtain opens again and white dressed ballerinas have taken the stage. Interesting – it’s like evil turning to good.

ballerinas


Daily Prompt 10/30/14

Eudaimonia

Aristotle, one of the greatest thinkers of western philosophy, taught us that happiness is a virtue, not its reward. This means that happiness is a gift that is not to be taken for granted. It is the ultimate purpose of our existence. It does not come and vanish in a mere couple of hours. Happiness depends on ourselves. We choose to be happy. Aristotle gave a true definition of happiness:

…the function of man is to live a certain kind of life, and this activity implies a rational principle, and the function of a good man is the good and noble performance of these, and if any action is well performed it is performed in accord with the appropriate excellence: if this is the case, then happiness turns out to be an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. (Nicomachean Ethics, 1098a13)

Am I a good judge of other people’s happiness? That depends. I don’t know if I’m truly happy myself. My self-absorption clouds my judgment, I can’t look past my inner demons to realize others are facing predicaments that question the nature of their existence. This is tough. I am more inclined in seeing the sadness in people. Since I am a loner and often have depressive states, seeing people on a level of my own makes me feel better because I know they have something in common with me: this insurmountable wall that I cannot seem to get over. But I feel safer on the other side anyway because I don’t have to face my struggles with human interaction and emotion. Stepping out into the light bothers me. I feel better being isolated and not having to win the acceptance of someone else because when I fail at that I often become even more depressed.

I close my eyes for a while, trying to think of a time when I knew someone was happy. For some reason, my late grandmother comes to mind. I am standing by her bedside, seeing her lying there, pale and cold as ever, holding on to her last few breaths of life. She has lost all focus of the world and her words and actions are not entirely hers, coming about from the Alzheimer’s that has progressed ruthlessly. I can tell she is happy and content inside, even if it isn’t readily apparent, because very soon she will be going to a better place, away from the agony and suffering that has been cast upon her. This is not like her. She has always been a strong woman, always alert and on her feet. I hate to see her struggle like this, acting like a totally different person and scaring me. I can tell she doesn’t want to go through with this sickness any longer, wants to rest in peace, be in a state of happiness. A deep depression washes over me. My mind is numb as ice. I can’t quite decipher any emotions for this experience. I guess I just realize dying is the natural part of life and learn to get over it. Grieving is painful. I don’t know how to deal with it. I’m trapped in my mind. Nothing can get out. It is a dark void. There is no where to go but straight. Behind me is just the shadows of despair. The road is foggy up ahead. I am so young, unable to take the burden of this loss.

I’m tired. I can’t go on any longer.


 In Response to the Daily Prompt: Happy Radars