Tuesday, May 28, 2013

HATS OFF

A month and a day ago, I GRADUATED from the University of West Georgia with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Africana Studies.
I learned some things in the classrooms, but I learned, applied, and experienced many valuable lessons outside of the classroom that could truly never be taught. 
I made friendships and acquaintances for a lifetime while others only came around seasonly. I struggled with being on time to class, but I had great relationships with most if not all of my professors. I was far from a book worm or star student. What got my blood pumping was the smell of a deadline inching closer and closer. I couldn't do what others did, I found that through college. As a psychology major, we had too many papers to write and every time one was due I waited until the last minute. It's something about the Line of Death that seems to enhance the flight or fight response in us humans. I remember reading something about procrastination. It mentioned how people who procrastinate only engage in this behavior because they are afraid of being as great as the know they can be deep down. Don't quote me on that because I vaguely remember the exact words, but it stuck with me since I self-identified as a procrastinator. Once I started getting into the rhythm of the person and student I was, I no longer stopped doing things I loved to do just to finish a paper or study for a test. Would it had helped if I had complete silence and concentration for those things, I'm sure but those abilities went to the next person who were more open to receiving them. I guess you could say I was a bit of a lazy student from my junior-senior(2) years. I assume that if I would have been motivated, studied 2 hours a day, read every book for all my classes, joined in discussion, started doing research on papers and studying for tests months before the events were scheduled to occur then I would have graduated on time. 

Yeah I didn't graduate at the expected date I was supposed to. I enrolled in the fall of 2008 and was supposed to graduate Spring 2012. When it didn't happen that way, I was upset and began beating myself up. I beat myself up for the exact things that I now accept with no strings attached. I felt like a failure for not graduating with "my class". I grateful for having to "stay back" another year. I've learned even more about myself, found out some things about the world that do nothing but generate more questions no matter how much "truth" I expose myself to, got to live with one of my great friends, and so much more. During my first senior year I was becoming introduced to alternative medicine. I had already become natural with my skin care and hair, but there was one class that did it for me. Now that I'm thinking on it I had an amazingly trans-formative experience. The class I spoke of was Holistic Health Psychology. It didn't help that a tall, man with  locks from Trinidad was teaching the class. This dude had knowledge for days. Sometimes he would go off on a tangent, but it all seemed to relate. And even if it didn't relate, it was just so interesting that I got so lost and after class I researched every inch. I was that hungry. The next one was basically the start of who I have morphed into, well more so values and beliefs that I have come to adopt into my everyday life. The psychology department sponsored an event that brought Alex Grey to the school. Alex Grey is a visionary artist who is associated with the New Age movement ( that description from Wikipedia ). I think I can do better at describing him by telling you what happened that night for me. I went to the event by myself. I had never heard of him before and was really interested just by the artwork on the poster. He and his wife came to share his art and his life. He spoke of his last day of college, where he ran into one of his professors and experimented with LSD. If I can remember correctly, he met his wife that night as well. His pictures were very telling, raw, and made me feel like "what in the hell have I been doing with my time in college?'. One of my favorite pictures from his life and art are when he and his wife (then girlfriend) were naked, looking like they were making love in a display in the museum. I was so enthralled when he got to his amazing paintings that include detailed representations of the lymphatic, nervous, skeleton, and cardiovascular system. I felt a sense of warmth, tingling, and a sense that something within me was shifting right in there in the chair. I just felt like I was at the right place at the right time in that moment. Directly after, I felt like I was high. I felt like I was in a trance. The trance-like state felt like it lasted for hours. I honestly was interested in trying LSD. I seriously looked up the hows, history of it, and the proper ways. During my research though, I keep coming across how some people who have tried it and professionals who have studied it said that LSD could help with psychological disorders but only with trained professionals and in the right setting. I also came across how it shouldn't be used recreationally, like say alcohol or cigarettes. Basically it's nothing to play with, that's how powerful it is. I started researching chakras, finally got the courage to do meditation, and became more appreciative of the human body. During my second senior year, I continued to fed off of that experience and my love for reading magically came back. I had lost my love for reading. I'll attribute that to the early college years of only reading textbooks that didn't give me any type of life. People knew the library at school was basically my second home. I had no shame. But when last year rolled around I was literally always in there. After class, that's where I was. Chilling in Starbucks. Exploring upstairs for books on any and everything that peaked my interested. Sometimes I would stay for hours, with stacks of books, writing notes, drinking a mocha frappuccino, and listening to music. I would describe myself in both of my senior years as hungry and thirsty for knowledge and information. 

Ready for the next chapter in my life. 

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