When the going gets tough in life, I have learned that it is always important to count your blessings.
This week is one I certainly consider to be a very good week, even though there haven’t been many of those lately.
I learned Wednesday morning that I have been formally admitted to the Master of Science in Transportation Management (MSTM) program, administered by the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University. It is a continuation of the certificate program of the same concentration I started off with in January. At this point, if all goes well, I have eight classes and two years left until I earn a master’s degree that will further my career in transportation.
This is an exciting step forward — as my cousin-in-law put it when she learned of the news — and I agree. This is a program I have long sought to enroll in and now, I’m officially a part of it.
Graduate school is something I had largely ruled out in the past as I did not have any programs in mind that I wanted to pursue. In 2010, two of my coworkers at the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) — where I was an intern, at the time — were already enrolled in the same MSTM program. Both have since graduated from the program. Given that my interest in going into transportation predated my time at OCTA, I learned from them and the program administrators early on how the MSTM program will better develop my knowledge and expertise in the field, preparing me for a leading role in helping shape the transportation policies of tomorrow.
Despite having to put my plans on hold in 2012 and 2013 as a result of my short stint with AmeriCorps in Philadelphia, I finally enrolled in the program in January of this year as a Certificate in Transportation Management student. I received an A in both spring semester classes, marking a very good start to a program that I want to continue on with as a student now pursuing a master’s degree.
While I am thrilled this bit of good news has materialized, there’s still one thing missing that my life and career depends on: finding my next new job. Past job searches have never dragged on this long nor has it been as difficult. Yet, I have kept at it the efforts to find out where I want to work next — a place where I can thrive and make a difference. I’m still on the case.
We are halfway through 2014. I still believe there is time for things to get even better for me this year despite the personal slump that I have been experiencing over the last two years. Since then, I have gradually risen from that slump in fits and starts.
I also have learned that no matter how difficult times are, it’s important to count your blessings. The hundreds of friends I have across these United States of America and around the world, dozens of relatives that are mostly in California, professional connections and former colleagues on both coasts and in between have all kept me going and remind me that each and every day, I have a reason to live.
Count your blessings, folks. There are others counting on you too.
Have a great weekend and a great rest of your week, America. I’ll leave you with this.