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Master of My Own Destiny

Okay, it's a pretentious title, and really, you don't need a degree in anything to be a master of your own destiny. But, as I began to gather my thoughts about the fact that I have finished work on my Master of Arts degree and I will now be moving on to other adventures, the title struck me: BOOM! You, Rep, are not just a Master of Arts, but a Master of your own Destiny. *cue inspirational music*

Speaking in less cheesy tones, I want to say I am really very excited about my life. I really wanted to work on my degree, I wanted more time to research and write and talk to people interested in the same academic things I am. I had a wonderful wonderful wonderful two years here in Pittsburgh. And now it's time to move on, and that feels wonderful too. I think my deciding to get my Master's degree and succeeding, sticking with it was an important thing for me to do, because I wanted it, and I got it, just for me.

And now, even though quite honestly the prospects of having to find a job and a place to live in today's world (and moreover, today's job market) can be utterly frightening, I think the fact that I've finished this one aspect of my life has shown me that if I don't be a completely lazy bum, I can do what I want to do, have fun, and actually, maybe, possibly survive. It's a good feeling. And that's why I feel less like I'm plummeting into an abyss of uncertainty as far as my future goes, and more like I'm plummeting down the steep, yet thrilling, slope of a roller coaster. I'm scared for my life and yet I know, somehow, I will be safe, and everything is okay... and WOO! the adrenaline!

Wow. This isn't really what I intended to write at all when I sat down to start this–look what happens when you start rambling, folks! Anyway, I hope this doesn't sound like I'm saying, "Nyah nyah, I'm not scared, and I'm so cool." What I'm saying is, I am scared out of my wits, but am still managing to have a great time. Possibility can be a beautiful beautiful word if you let it be.

I don't think I'd feel this good about what I've done if it were not for the support of my friends and family. My dad thought it was awfully strange that I up and decided to get an MA in English–not exactly the most useful degree in the world (but what is, these days?), but he's stuck by me, as have so many of my friends and family. People have asked me why I'm doing what I'm doing, and when I'm "coming home" but have never expressed their doubt to me. (Perhaps you did doubt in me, I don't know, but thanks at least for putting on a good show.) I couldn't have done it without all of you. Thanks especially to my friend John, who despite his busy schedule, came to visit me four times while I've been up here, and thanks to those of you who've taken the time to write when you've had the chance–especially when, caught up in whirlwinds of papers and Pittsburgh life, I haven't always been good about writing back.

And don't let me forget to mention that I could not have survived in Pittsburgh without my flatmate Erik-nii-chan*or my friend Bill or the rest of the Pittsburgh crew, who have provided me with their own support, laughs, and (most importantly!) weekly doses of gaming.

In this day and age we are asked to put a practical or monetary value on everything we do, and make it seem like that which does not have that kind of value as being worthless. But friends, family, degrees in literature, and other such things do have value. They teach us who we are, and how to be really happy. You have to do what you love, and be with the people you love. Everything else just comes along with it.

I will find a home. I will find a means to pay for said home. I will do the things I love. In the meantime I am really happy for the things that have happened, and the things I have brought to myself. I am sharing this to tell you, if you are anxious about your life, not to be afraid, but to trust in your desires and to take risks, because the roller coaster dive is worth it. And I will be there to support you if I can, when I can, whenever I can.

Besides, if I'm wrong, I'll have this very ramble here to slap me with bitter irony. I will risk posting in nonetheless. We will see. But I believe I am the Master of My Destiny, as are you the Master of Yours. Hold on, and keep your hands inside the car, and get ready to scream with a grin from ear to ear.


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All original materials © 2003 R. Pickard