Man, it’s been…A week. KW Engage blew my mind, I had some great meetings with the Classics department and got a lot of work done on Headshots from the Heart. Not to mention doing two shows, helping out some friends…And there was something else. Oh yeah, I convocated. I now officially have a Master’s degree in philosophy. Paper and everything. But that’s not important. 

A year ago, I made a big deal out of getting my degree and really getting down to business, and I did. I said I was just getting started, and I was. I accomplished a lot in grad school, and overcame some challenges. I have more, and I know what some of them are. I’m looking forward to it, but also a little intimidated. At some point, I became an expert on some things. On ethics, on engagement, on fundraising, and apparently even on social media. People come to me looking for answers, and I tend to have them. Not all of them, but some of them. The ones I don’t have, I usually know how to find, and whether they’re findable.

Yesterday I became the first person in my family to get a Master’s. My mum was there, the first one in our family to go to university, and she was bursting with pride. Sitting in that seat, I had a lot of time to think (between tweeting) about all the people who had helped me get there. My mentors, some of whom were on the stage. My friends, some of whom were on the floor with me. Professors, other students, people in my community, my family…They all helped. Sometimes I needed a shoulder to lean on, a sounding board for ideas, or just a kick in the ass to get moving. I needed to make music, to laugh, to talk, and sometimes to cry.

It took me back to earlier in the week, at Engage. It’s a tough program to get into, but my year is full of very successful people. People in business, entrepreneurs, community leaders, artists, and me. I sat there for a lot of the session thinking about how I didn’t fit in, how I was the odd one out, and I was incredibly nervous that someone might find me out, discover that I didn’t belong. But when we did the work, I did great. I had ideas, people liked them, used them, adapted them. When my anxiety reached its height, I took my pen and wrote “FILDI” on my hand. Any time I felt nervous, I’d look at it, and calm down a bit. I did the same thing at graduation yesterday. What is this magic word, you ask? It’s an acronym.

Fuck It, Let’s Do It.

I picked it up from ZeFrank, and it’s taken me pretty far. It reminds me of all the stuff I’ve already done and that I am ready. I haven’t been sharpening my pencils this whole time, I’ve been making a mark. All the people that helped me, all the people who I feel like I need to do right by now that I’ve reached some milestone, I made a mark.

To everybody who graduated yesterday, and everyone else too. Let’s do it. Let’s leave behind all the anxiety, the little things we do to test trust, the big things we don’t do because we’re worried about what might happen, and the illusion that we’re the only ones who have these worries. We won’t be able to do this all the time, but every minute we don’t is a good minute. Our pencils are sharp enough, even the dull ones will make a mark. So fuck it, let’s do it.

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