Sunday, May 31, 2009

your mom goes to college.

so i just finalized my fall schedule... for college. ((dramatic pause here)).

um, yea. score one for another life lesson learned late: never say never.

i've been paying a hundred bucks a month on my student loan for years. thousands and thousands of dollars spent on higher education that i've never even utilized. in my late teens and early twenties, all of my progress towards a degree was like everything else in my life at that point: a means to some ambiguous level of social acceptance. a mere formality. one of those things that you were simply "supposed" to do. you know, to gain the acceptance and approval of others. it was always on my list with things like: marry a nice man, buy a nice house, drive a nice car. it was just slightly lower on the list. obviously.

a degree in my warped mentality was a material possession. i needed it to frame and display on the wall. towards the end of my college days, i think i just decided that the literal and figurative costs of continuing on were no longer worth it. i had already married a nice guy, bought a nice house, drove a nice car. i even had a great job [and every intention of not working once i had children]. i had taken all my core classes, apathetically chosen a major and frankly, was bored to tears. too much sacrifice for a trophy. i finished my last semester and became pregnant with Chloe the following Spring. and somewhere around that time, i took the degree off my list.

i never really knew what i wanted to be when i grew up. i always knew that i would be a wife and mother. and consequently, didn't put much thought into being anything else. i naively assumed all sorts of things about life as a homemaker. you know, like that i would be good at it, feel passionate about it, that it would satisfy me and that it would, ultimately, just sort of, um... pan out. i would never get divorced, never be a single mother, never go back to school. and certainly, never actually have the desire to go back to school.

and then life happened. not the psuedo-perfect life that i'd planned, but real life. messy and complicated and painful and awkward. trust me when i tell you that 'lose everything on list' was never on my list. oh, its true that anyone who'd taken a closer look at the foundation of the life i was desperately trying to construct at age twenty could've easily predicted that i'd [sooner or later] end up in rubble. but no one could've predicted how i would come out of the rubble and into my own. for the very first time. and for as many unfortunate and sad things there are about the way the first decade of adulthood turned out, i know that the rest of my life will ultimately benefit from all of it.

the cliche' is true: that which doesn't kill us does make us stronger, but it does so much more: it strips us from our pretense. and our pride. facades fall down when our lives fall apart and we become bare and vulnerable and real. in front of others, in front of God and in front of ourselves. sometimes, for the very first time.

all that to say, for the first time, at thirty two ... i know what i want to be when i grow up and that is why i've chosen to finish my degree. not in public relations, but in health education/exercise science. it is no secret that i'm not the eight to five corporate girl. but over the last year or so, the more i have focused on my health and fitness, the more i have grown to absolutely love it. i have never felt better in my life and the thought of being able to help other people feel this way - is what is worth the time, money and effort to finally finish my degree.

so as chloe starts kindergarten, her mommy will start college. again. and "your mom goes to college", the hilarious line from napoleon dynamite, will be a truth in the life of my children for the next eighteen months.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
~ Romans 8:28

2 comments:

  1. I love reading your writings. You have an amazing way with words! I'm very excited for you in this new adventure and for following your heart. Seriously, can I be your first client, um, with a friend discount?!?!?!?

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  2. Good for you! Good luck with the studying, test, papers, etc. that come with college.

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