Sunday, May 23, 2004

Pomp & Circumstance: The Eric Gagnes of the World

Recently, I’ve come to believe that few things are better than being witness to the realization of a dream.

I don’t mean learning that your best friend’s best sex dream just became a reality, although I suppose that would be cool too.

A couple of days ago I received a graduation announcement and attached letter (on Yale letterhead) from my friend Tamika (one of the true, brilliant goddesses I’ve had the fortune to know), who’s graduating tomorrow with her degree in Classics.

In the letter, she reminded me of a day a couple of years ago when we were at work and a cheesy classical music favorites CD was playing; “Pomp & Circumstance” came on, and she told me then that she was considering returning to Yale (where she’d been going before a short hiatus) to complete her degree. And now here she is, cap and gown, “Pomp & Circumstance” and all.

The letter made me all kinds of teary, the good kind. To know that a person I care about has worked so diligently toward accomplishing a goal, has been recognized for that hard work, and is now about to feast on the fruits—well I’ll say honestly that I can think of few better things in this life.

And there’s this, too: I can’t wait to see what she does next.

I feel that way about all the people I know, and things are very good in the lives of the people around me.

My Ma is set to become a certified Feng Shui practitioner in a couple of months and loves what she does. Her and my Pa (who is now fully recovered from a hip-replacement surgery (!) he underwent a few months ago and is working and playing as hard as ever) just completed the landscaping—done entirely by the sweat of their own brows—of their gorgeous new home in Colorado. They are both very involved in their community and I’ve never seen them happier.

My brother is now working on a television show down in SoCal, just moved into a nice apartment, and his co-ed softball team (the Isotopes, ‘Topes for short) is in first place ;)

Kelsi is chugging right along with her Master’s degree in Psychology, she’s written some great new songs recently, is going to Mexico for a month this summer and get her Spanish on, and is fixin’ to start her field placement position in the fall. I am awash in admiration.

Nicole returned to school this semester and is writing again, which is a great thing for the world at large, by the way. My gal's got stories that need to be told, and told well. Her perfectly chosen metaphors and incredible knack for creating mood are enough to penetrate the heart and psyche of any reader. Also, she just learned she'll be able to graduate as early as next Spring with a degree that I swear was designed just for her: it's called Creative Arts. Awesome!

JD will walk this week (he graduated last winter) and just told me he’s going to Europe for the summer—Greece and Germany and wherever else the wind may carry him…weeeeeeeeee.

My friend Rocky is graduating with his Master’s in Philosophy and is moving back to Boulder, CO next month, a long-time dream of his.

My friends Dave (the one I accidentally knifed at work [who’s healed very nicely, by the way—good job Dave]) and Ramon are both graduating from SJSU this week.

I just learned my friend Brent is starting school this fall (art school in San Francisco, which he’s been talking about for years and at which he will absolutely flourish—he’s remarkably talented).

My sweet and lovely friend Sharon is now halfway done with her Master’s in Library Science, AND she recently chose a wedding dress (which is a wondrous feat in the world of wedding planning, I’m told). Her roommate and our mutual friend Maribel is graduating this week with her Master’s in Education and will begin shopping for a Ph.D program soon.

The future Dr. Rotsko (my friend Nick) just had his 2nd paper published in an academic journal of philosophy and also completed his 5th straight semester as a President’s Scholar (4.0).

My friend Don from high school just finished his first year in the MBA program at the University of Michigan and accepted an internship on Wall Street (!) for this summer.

And I don’t know if this is a bigger accomplishment for me or for my beautiful honorary niece, Maya (about to turn 2), but she just learned to say (with some, ahem, assistance), and I quote: “Dodgers…awesome!” It’s the cutest and truest thing ever to cross the lips of a toddler. She’s a genius!

There’s a lot to celebrate these days.

I know, I know. One should not live one’s life through the accomplishments of others. And it’s not that. What I mean by listing all this is to say that my being able to share in this good new is, I consider, a true gift in my life. These are the kinds of things (and forgive me, my sappy language) that warm my heart.

I think it’s a somewhat commonly held belief that only relatively few people really change the world for the better—the Martin Luther Kings, the Mother Teresas, the Eric Gagnes :). But I would disagree with that. I believe each person—setting out to do what it burns within her or him to do—in so doing makes the world a beautiful place. Imagine all those around you, whose lives touch yours—well, imagine them all truly fulfilled, truly happy. That, in my mind, is a better world.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all these people and anyone else who’s got great things going on that I haven’t been nosey enough to learn about yet. I consider myself grateful to know you and admire you, and I wish you—always—only the very best.

P.S. If you've never heard of Eric Gagne, I suggest a Google search :)

P.P.S. If you've got some good news to share, please write and tell me about it (you can access my e-mail by clicking on "view my complete profile"). I'd love to hear all about it. If it asks you to register, just make up a name or e-mail...I don't think it's too painful, but I haven't tried it so I wouldn't take my word for it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's one of the things that makes you so great to be around gal! You see the best in us. You work tirelessly to improve your own life and to bring joy to the people around you. You bring out the best in folks, and definately in me.

I'm blessed to get to see you everyday


I know who Eric Gagnes is .... he's a pitcher right?