When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.
– Franklin D. Roosevelt
I know struggle, pain, and heartache. I grew up seeing violence, families being torn a part, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, vile laziness, and abject poverty. There was a duality. However, I grew up in the military so at various times there was a fleeting sense of security and well-being. I was also thrown around from here to there countless times, so I still can’t make friends and might be more guarded than I should.
Many times over I let all of those things erode my life and sense of well-being. To be honest, they still can and do at times. I’ve made a ton of mistakes. I dropped out of high-school, went from job to job to job, and almost let myself succumb to demographics and statistics that said my life was set in poverty and constant anguish. I guess it was for awhile, at least until I was 27 or so.
Throughout my entire childhood, I’ve always been somewhat diplomatic, compassionate and caring. It’s no wonder I studied what I studied. Don’t get me wrong; I do have a temper that takes constant control and curation on my part. When I returned to school at 27, it was to prove I am not a high school drop-out any longer. It took awhile, and I did suffer because I dropped out, but I accomplished that goal. BARELY! Luckily, my life, at least personally, simmered down. I found love and stability. This has allowed me to grow and learn from all those mistakes and experiences I’ve gone through in my life.
I felt the urge to go to graduate school for diplomacy at a military college because of my background. I know personal conflict, familial conflict, and was never too far from community and state conflict. I knew what I had to study. I know I want to help resolve conflict because I’ve seen what it does firsthand. I struggled to get through graduate school. It was very hard, and I still felt the deficit from dropping out. I persevered, though, I pulled a 3.78 GPA at the end of it all.
I firmly believe secure human rights, equitable property sharing, and domestic protection of one’s culture are norms that should be adopted, and that will advance the global community. My goal with networking is to create a personal community (my digital hometown) around those ideas. I believe in identity and perspective above many other things. I thoroughly enjoy comparative politics, conflict studies, both economic and human development, and history. While attending graduate studies, I was given high recognition for my research and writing on refugee norms and intra-state conflict, specifically conflict in the D.R. of Congo.
I’m still trying to piece together how this high school drop-out might be looked at as a legitimate voice in the discourse of our life. There’s so much at stake right now. I am still trying to figure out how to make a career, that can start in Michigan, happen out of all this studying and growth. At the moment, it all seems self-fulfilling. I’m done with all the personal motives for this struggle. I studied something that can be of service for exactly that reason. . . To be of service.