I almost forgot to write today! And when I did remember, while getting ready for bed, I almost decided to skip it. I have reason enough.
Today was my graduation ceremony. Not an event I was terribly eager to attend – stepping out on stages in my condition does not come easily; and since I went part-time and stretched the 4-year course into 5, I didn’t know my classmates all that well. I spent my 1st 3 years of school, the most formative ones, with the graduating class of 2018. So there was no one here I really felt I needed to see. Also, I didn’t have any good ideas about what to do for food. However, my parents (and grandparents) were not to be cheated out of their day of celebration. It started at 1:30, so I didn’t think I’d have any problem getting home with lots of time to write a blog post before my 7:00 conference meeting. There were only about 120 students in my graduating class – how long could the ceremony be?
Turns out, it can be pretty long. Add in a reception afterwards – though I can’t complain about that, it was beautiful and the food was delicious and there was almost nothing there that I couldn’t eat, which took a lot of stress off me – and downtown Toronto traffic at 5:00 pm, and an accident on the 400 north… I was 20 minutes late for that conference call.
I made it through that conference call, and went to the washroom to finally take out my contacts. Only to discover that there was a reason my eyes kept tearing up through that ceremony: I have officially entered the world of conjunctivitis – commonly known as pink eye. The childhood disease I never had has struck me down in my old age. And I can now officially make that diagnosis, because – well, take a look at this.
That’s right. You can all refer to me as Dr. Gibson now 🙂
I am not, however, licensed to practice medicine in any jurisdiction. I have some major exams to write, first. Still – I didn’t think this piece of paper would make me so happy. I can hardly stop looking at it.
It took a lot of work to get here. It was an experience I wasn’t expecting, and one I will never forget. It taught me many things. The person I am now is very different from the one who enrolled in this program 5 years ago.
So, as tired as I am, and as much as I know – as my own doctor – that I need sleep in order for my immune system to effectively fight this infection off, I am a little too excited to just go to bed. I wanted to write.
So, what thoughts do I have to share with you tonight? What wisdom have I gleaned from this experience? I’m not sure. Celebrate your accomplishments? Hard work pays off in the end? Nothing so philosophical. I don’t know if 5 years of work really was worth it, yet. All I know is that today, I am happy.
I am happy. I didn’t need to eat, to be happy. At this moment, I don’t even need to be thin – or healthy – to be happy. Tomorrow, I will have to go right back to the grinding work of studying. I will have to step on the scale in the morning and face whatever it has to say to me. I will probably still be cold, and I know I’m going to be tired. Nothing material has really changed. Life is what it is – difficult, and demanding, and sometimes disappointing.
But right now, I am really, really, really happy. Those 5 years, whatever they were, were for something. I have proof of that. I did not accomplish my main goal – to heal myself. But I got something out of it. This moment of happiness, for one. And I have a feeling there will be more to come.