2016, in spite of all its challenges personally and for those around me, has been good because I fulfilled my promise to myself and did what a lot of people told me was near impossible, I graduated a year early with (honors) from college. Some stints on the Dean’s list, some research fellowships and conferences, about 7 jobs and an ACS Physical Chemistry Award later, I got my degree! Although I almost missed a month of school because of personal days and conferences, I did amazing! I finished that last semester strong AF!
The best part was seeing my mother for the first time in three years! Yes, my mother made it to my graduation! The ceremony and the degree meant little to me, but it was everything to her. She “pururudzad” in a custom African-print dress looking like it was some roora event. She came to the front, screamed “ndiye maMoyo, achinjanja mudovi!” (as if she has ever called me that). She walked around all day holding that black diploma case, you would have thought someone would steal it. I wanted to be out of there. “Finally, some civilisation and a chance to work on my dream,” I kept thinking.
I travelled quite a bit. The best part: I didn’t pay for most of it. But this year, while I couldn’t leave the country, I explored a good bit of the US. I ushered in the year in Salt Lake City, UT with my friend Lola, went to conferences in Syracuse, NY and San Diego, CA. Took my mother to Virginia Beach where I spent my birthday with my sister Cleo and her family. Said goodbye to my mother in NYC but picked myself up with the Beyonce concert before heading back to DC/MD. And just before I started this adulting gig in Boston, I went on “vacation” (I don’t know if this is called vacation since I wasn’t working anyway) in Maine. There have been some recurring trips but I have not been in one place for more than 4 months (I am still trying to figure out if that means I get more money back on my tax return ).