Have you ever found yourself doubting your degree or career plans?
Although I've had a successful undergraduate and graduate career, I wondered if my degree choice was significant enough to have changed my entire future. I have my bachelor's in communications with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in graphic design, and currently, I am pursing a master's degree in communication.
However, I wonder about the different ambitions I could have pursued, such as astronaut, musician or even gymnast. So many questions (more like doubts) swarmed my mind, until I discovered a clear answer in a dusty closet at my grandparent's house.
This summer, I spent a few weekends helping my grandpa organize hundreds, maybe thousands of pictures my grandma boxed up over the years. We were cleaning house and giving pictures away to those who might want them.
Obviously, my grandma loved to take and save pictures because my grandparent's house was a gold mine of family history. She was a loud and hilarious woman who listened to everyone's opinion and had no filter because she loved free speech.
My grandma, Nancy J. Segura passed away on the early morning of May 2, 2015 from cancer at only 63-years-old. I was very close to grandma, and we used to spend hours upon hours talking about life, love, television and conspiracy theories. Well, mostly, conspiracy theories.
After she passed away, I tried my hardest to remember every detail about my grandma that I could, but years of our close relationship had slipped away or seemed covered by her sudden passing. I seriously couldn't remember how she talked, how she laughed or the specifics of our conversations.
Digging for more pictures in the guest room closet, I came across an old-fashioned leather briefcase with hundreds of newspaper clippings. Curiously, I read over the clippings and looked at the pictures. The clippings didn't have any significance to me or my family. As I was getting ready to dump them into the trash, my journalist instincts kicked in, and I thought I should read the bylines and photo credits.
All of the clippings were either written or photographed by Nancy J. Segura, my grandma.
Here, in my hands, these newspaper clippings were my grandma's dreams. I sat down with tears in my eyes because I forgot my grandma wanted to be a traveling photojournalist but she quit college and chose to start a family.
Subconsciously, I chose to get a degree in communications without realizing I was continuing a dream and a legacy that wasn't just mine, but my grandma's.
Even though my grandma chose to start a family, she was still a traveling photojournalist. She may not have been paid for the hundreds of pictures she took of Disneyland, national forests or Las Vegas over the years, but she was still a photojournalist. She made sure every choice made and every talent used had purpose despite quitting college.
No matter where you are or if you're unsure about your next step, your choices (good or bad, significant or useless) have purpose.
I know as I looked at each picture, I started to remember who she was and the small details about our time together. More importantly, I started to remember my purpose and the significance of my degree in the midst of doubt.