I wrote this on Facebook two years ago, and I thought I would share it here on the thirteenth anniversary of Liberation.
Today is Liberation Day. On this day in 2004, I left Binghamton to attend Edinboro University. Why do I still celebrate it, considering I dropped out of Edinboro two years later and joined the Navy, and ten years later, I came back to Binghamton?
I celebrate it because it was the beginning of my adulthood. Up until that point I was still living at my parents’ house (and technically was still living there until I left for the Navy), so this was my first experience of being on my own. I do admit that I did squander the educational opportunity at Edinboro, but I made a number of good friends I still have today, not to mention a young woman from Chippewa Township, Pennsylvania who became the love of my life. Yes, I did return to Binghamton ten years after I left, but when I did, I had an engineering degree and a job at NYSEG. I was not coming back, as my father-in-law put it, with my tail between my legs.
I also celebrate it for everyone who makes the decision to change the direction of their lives for the better. This could be going to college, learning a trade, enlisting in the military, getting a new job, or any number of other things. It is scary, there is a possibility of failure, but the reward for success is to stand up tall and say, “I made it!” which means more than any material reward. The pitfalls on this journey are numerous, but if you can crawl out and continue, then you have succeeded.
Happy Liberation Day to one and all!!