The photo is me almost exactly three years to the day at Pier 39 carousel with my best friend visiting for my birthday. It’s hard for me to believe so much time has passed since then. During that time I had just moved to San Francisco to start my school program and barely knew anyone. Most of my weekends were spent alone in my apartment with cockroaches and lots of online TV. While this photo reminds me I don’t look any differently than I do today (except for maybe a few lines near my eyes and I still own that jacket, boots, jeans, and purse), I feel very different on the inside. I grew up the past few years in San Francisco, which seems counter intuitive for a city known for its ability to keep people young and free.

It was no coincidence I moved here just as my Saturn Return (an astrological transit marking the entry into adulthood) began. With my 31st birthday just days away, I feel more myself than I ever have before. It’s as if I came to SF and my school to uncover the  me that was buried inside all along. The Becky (now going by Rebecca), who believes in unicorns, astrology, magic, and who still loves carousels has finally been set free.

She’s no longer ashamed of her deep, emotional inner life and utter faith in the spiritual realm and she somehow found a community who shares them (although I don’t know that anyone else would say they believe in unicorns).  It has been here in my school program that I met others who were the “black sheep” of their families and we somehow all felt more normal.

I believe in celebrating endings as a way of honoring the transition yet to come. This weekend marks a large transition for me as I graduate from my beloved Master’s Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies with an emphasis in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness.  What did I learn the past few years while spending countless hours in classes and the library?

  • The importance of community. While I may  not have things in common with everyone in PCC, we are connected infinitely by our desire for wisdom, knowledge, and a better world. Being in a community forces you to face many parts of yourself you wouldn’t see otherwise.
  • That the true philosopher holds lightly to any ideas and continually seeks new ones while able to hold the paradoxes of all beliefs simultaneously.
  • After years of thinking astrology was silly, it has become one of my best tools for self-discovery.
  • If you hold up your pinky finger to the night sky there are one billion galaxies behind it.
  • I have little tolerance for small talk. I want to discuss the big ideas of the world and lose interest in those cannot do this.
  • I still believe unicorns and mermaids are real, now I have just given myself permission to say it outloud.
  • My tribe are those who allow me to be more myself are in PCC with the sharpest minds and softest hearts of any group of people I have ever met.

I took my time graduating, instead of two years, I took three and more. I have been in no rush to leave this womb of magic. While I have a tendency to hold on to things and experiences (perhaps that’s why it took me longer than most to graduate), I finally feel ready for the next phase of my life. To surrender into my life’s path knowing my time in PCC and CIIS will be some of my most treasured.

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