Light at the end of the tunnel…

It kind of took me aback that today is March 18th.

Seriously, how is it two weeks until April? I feel like I was just in Spain, celebrating New Years Eve, drinking too much cava and freezing my ass off in a Madrid public square.

I counted the months until graduation in mid-December, and I have 8 left until it happens. Seriously, it will be the most bittersweet moment to date when I’m recognized for completing my program at St. Bonaventure.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t already envisioned our small reception-style recognition (I can’t really call it a graduation ceremony, can I?) and thought of how incredibly hard it will be to hold back tears. Education has always been one of my mother’s highest wishes for us girls, and here I am, completing my master’s degree. Completing something at 24 years old, that same something my father wanted so badly at the ripe age of 48 but just couldn’t fit it into his lifestyle.

After I graduate, I’ll have considered my duties as a grateful daughter almost completed. That sounds weird, I know, but I mean it. I still have the more vague things that I can complete, as in, paying it forward, being a leader, and being a strong, Native woman. But those things weren’t as succinct and finite like “get your bachelor’s degree, get your master’s degree…”

And in 8 months, that specific list is done.

And it’s incredibly bittersweet.

After this next 8 months, it’s up to me to figure out ways to continue fulfilling my “duties” as a grateful daughter and remembering/honoring their spirits. And I’m sure I’ll find a way. They continue to be my motivation to do great things.

To M&P, keep me strong these next 8 months. I’m going to need all the will, self-determination, and focus to get through the demands of my life.

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