Everything Changes

Another year has passed by and I am still feeling the same way I did when I first wrote this piece.  I decided to re-post it because it expresses my innermost feelings precisely.  Please forgive me for any redundancy.

I fell asleep one night twenty-seven months ago and awoke to a startling change in my life.  Back then I never imagined how it would affect me so deeply, so profoundly.  Today when I awoke it became very apparent to me that my life would never again be the life I had known for the last twenty years and surprisingly I found I am totally unprepared.

Funny how people take their everyday routines for granted.  Some people never give it a thought, while others plan every moment.  Some people love their jobs, while others drudge themselves through it.  I suppose I had a mix of both ways, but mostly I loved my job.  The people I came to know, the help I was able to give, the feeling of accomplishment I experienced completing a difficult task.  All of those experiences gave me purpose.  I didn’t really know until today what it meant to know I can never do that job again, never meet new young people, never have a conversation with a scholar that left me breathless and learning something new or even having a debate over our different outlooks on life. It hit me like a ton of bricks today and the sadness of this forced retirement engulfed me beyond my imaginings.

I still feel too young to be retiring, but alas not being able to use my body as I did before that day twenty-seven months ago has changed all my best laid plans.  I never would have believed anyone who told me I would be so lost and so sad just from leaving a job, but I am those things and more.  Even writing, which I always believed to be my future, has lost its luster and appeal lately.  It astounds me thinking that my purpose is now gone. Good advice is ever flowing my way and ideas from others about what to do with my time now, but none unfortunately wear my shoes nor have my personality so all the good intentioned words of wisdom don’t help me at all. I compare it to the loss of someone dear.  Everyone at the funeral says they are sorry for your loss and I’m certain they are, but it doesn’t validate what you feel from that loss. Well, when you are forced to give up something you care about, as I was, it is the same as experiencing the death of a beloved friend or family member.  There truly is no consoling.  As all hurts heal I have no doubt this will also pass in time, I just don’t know how much more time needs to pass until I can feel like my old self again or if in fact, I ever will.

Am I feeling sorry for myself, probably yes.  Do I have a right to?  Without a doubt. Maybe something will change again in my life one day soon that will allow me the privilege of feeling I have a purpose on a daily basis.  Who knows?  Change is certainly apparent everywhere for everyone, just do yourselves a favor and don’t take what you have for granted. Appreciate it, go ahead sweat the small stuff cause the small stuff matters as well, savor all of the moments because you may fall asleep one night and awaken to discover your entire world is changed and you can no longer have the purpose you have today.

And that’s the “Way I See It” here in Brooklyn.

K

Higher Education CAN take you Higher!

I read an editorial in the NY Daily News today, May 28, 2013,  by Richard Cohen of the Washington Post. (http://www.nydn.com) The editorial struck home with me because I have worked in Higher Education for more than twenty years and what Mr. Cohen portrays is a sentiment that I have held for quite a long time.  Aside from being an administrator in higher ed, I am also a parent and aunt of many who have received a college degree.  The position I held allowed me the very fortunate circumstance to meet with thousands of students from every walk of life.  Being associated with them afforded me the luxury of learning something new each day.  The things that they taught me are still meaningful and have remained with me throughout my career.  It seems to be the appropriate time to write about the things mentioned in the Daily News editorial since in New York it is just about commencement time for most of the Universities.  The editorial was written to portray the value of a college degree in today’s world and whether or not it was worth it.  I have to agree with Mr. Cohen’s belief that it is.  I have heard many students proclaim that they didn’t understand why they needed their degrees and there were some regrets as they were graduating.  However, over time they realize what they didn’t realize right away.  All those classes, the ones that may have had nothing to do with their chosen careers or jobs, are the classes that taught them to broaden their horizons, think outside the box and better themselves in the future.  They come to realize that the information that was given to them as college students was vital to the world around them.  Those wondrous tidbits of facts gave them the tools they needed to make this world of ours a better place.  What they may have learned about physics or classics or aesthetics will serve them well as they travel far and wide to apply their degree in television or radio or teaching or architecture.  Some realize this immediately, while the majority take years to fully appreciate the value of a well-rounded Associate or Bachelor or Graduate degree. There are those who go directly to a job and many may not be designed to attend college, but that is fine as well, because not everyone has to go to college.  However, those that do can come to appreciate the value of the degrees they have earned.  They would serve themselves well to have pride in their accomplishment and to search for their place in this world with the wisdom they have gained through the knowledge they have earned.

I would be remiss, if I didn’t congratulate all these wonderful college graduates.  They are a large part of the future of my world and the world of all those living today.  These graduates will go on to be the next generation of parents, doctors, lawyers, teachers, marketers, financial wizards, creative geniuses, and oh so many more glorious paths in life.   They will be or are parents who will have the insight to raise their children with a thirst for knowledge as well.  This amazing circle of life will continue because thousands of people will have graduated from higher education during the next month or so.  It won’t matter if they need to take jobs at lower pay scales, the knowledge they have attained and the opportunity given to them is something that everyone should have as an opportunity. A chance to broaden one’s mind and expand their own worlds should be everyone’s chance in life.   A higher education has given many people the power to become higher in life because their minds were overloaded and empowered from all those classes that had nothing to do with their chosen fields.  I truly hope they are as proud of themselves as a I am for them, past, present and future.  They are my hope for a better world in the very near future.  CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES!

That is the Way I See It here in Brooklyn,K

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