John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” Although we’re quite different in our political leanings and choice of fashion, that snippet of insight I can certainly agree on, along with his brilliance in weaving notes onto vinyl.
When I started this quest to complete my education I felt like a washout. I had literally hit bottom. I had a newborn son, a dead-end contract job living in the basement of my parents. Although the decision to leave UBC was the correct one, leaving my bachelor’s goal for a season was one of the toughest decisions that I had ever made.
But coming back was significantly harder. It was expensive. It was time consuming. It mean sacrificing three and a half years of my son’s childhood and the early years of our marriage. I had already been earning a decent living, but the prospects of getting promoted or mobile were remote. If I wanted to have the type of life that I wanted – life with my family without worrying about income, I knew that I had to go back to finish what I had started.
So began my BBA Program at Capilano Regional University.
Coming back to school opened my eyes to new possibilities. For the first time in a long time, I began to realize that I did indeed have the ability to succeed. With the support of my wife, I got those assignments done. I developed the skills, I met the right people and had the chance to travel on behalf of the school. The good grades came as a result.
And the “life” portion that John Lennon talked about? In the span of three years, we moved out of the basement, I moved to graveyard shift, went full time in school and at work. My family grew from three to six in just two years. We bought a house. I got promoted. I went to London and returned some sense of social responsibility. During the means to an end, life happened, and the experience has become so much richer as a result of that one choice to do the hard thing and go back to school.
Heavenly Father knew that I needed all of these things. He knew I was hurting and he opened the doors for me to get out of the cellar of complacency that I had put myself in. I used to think that the world had shut me out. But Heavenly Father taught me that through Him, the good things of the world were always open to me. All I had to do is live righteously, reach out and take it.
My father’s best advice to me was to marry someone that I could be proud of. At the time I didn’t realize just how much that piece of advice would affect my life. Without Evelyn, I know that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish what I had set out to do. Evelyn sacrificed her career in accounting to be a full-time mother. She sacrificed her schooling so I could go. She sacrificed endless hours of time so I could squeeze in those extra hours of sleep. Her patience, her encouragement and her love kept me on the path to finish. At times, I’m sure it was lonely for her as I stared at a computer screens and textbooks than into her eyes over the past four years. But she knew how important this was for me, and for our family. I don’t think that anyone could have endured as much as she did. I love her. I owe her my very best. I and I will give it.
Heavenly Father couldn’t teach me these things all at once. He used my education at Capilano College to teach me these series of little lessons of life. He wants me to succeed and He provided the way. And that, my friends, is what the Capilano University Degree represents to me. It’s not only a representation of grades, courses, knowledge, skills and abilities that I gained. It’s a representation of my sacrifice, Evelyn’s sacrifice, and all the “Life” that happened on my way to the degree. I am greatful to Him for the opportunity.
Today was my last day of classes. As I hand in this last term paper, my goal of achieving a University degree will be accomplished. Thank you. All of you. for your encouragement and support over the years. I hope that anyone who has read this blog over the years learned something valuable that they can take away with them. Best wishes to everyone.