Communication Designer | Visual Storyteller | Pupcake Baker


Naked Doodles

a blog of words, thoughts, and images

paperwork's complete. bring on tomorrow.

©2011 gary

Next to being a Dad, my middle aged return to higher education has been one of the most rewarding events in my life. Receiving my bachelor's degree at 48 years of age was a personal landmark. It was official. I'd been bitten by the education bug and prior to graduating in 2008, I'd already applied and accepted my invitation to attend graduate school in Virginia Commonwealth University's highly ranked School of the Arts program. 

I continued my forward educational momentum while also working full time for the university. Education and creativity surrounded me. I felt at home. Two years and one day after attending my very first graduate level class, my thesis art exhibition opened at the Rawls Museum. My frantic pace and life's ambitions merged. It was spectacular. A few weeks later, just before graduation, I was humbled with my invitation and induction into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. 

Throughout my entire life, I've always attempted to make good decisions. There were certainly numerous times when I fell far short, but my late in life decision to return to college has become one of my absolute best. Quite honestly with my working class upbringing, I never would have imagined ever being able to use the phrase college graduate associated with Gary Garbett. And to one day earn a Masters degree was simply unimaginable. My only regret is that I wish my father could have seen some of this unfold. He would have been so proud. Who knows, maybe he was watching.

There was a voice mail waiting for me on Monday as I returned home from the office. The voice was personable, upbeat, and professional. It was the university's Student Services office calling to say that my diploma was ready for pick up. I smiled and erased the message. With a few moments to breathe, I now look back and I'm incredibly proud of the work, direction, and growth, both personally and artistically that I've made over the past few years. I'm truly a blessed and lucky, lucky man. 

I'm just now feeling like I'm getting started and I've got a hell of a long way to go before being done. Life is simply that good and I look forward to what it decides to bring tomorrow. I may even set my alarm earlier for a preview glimpse.