Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Push I Needed

I've known for years that "someday" I would go back to school... or at least I hoped. But then life got busy and I felt too old. I thought perhaps I missed my chance. Then after the Divorce I felt like I should look into school. And yet, at the same time, it seemed like something unattainable, out of reach. Plus, when I had looked into it before, too many years had passed and the local universities wouldn't accept my credits from the first go-round. That meant I would have to start completely over.

Then one of my sisters went back to school. I was jealous and bitter so happy for her. Then another one started taking a few classes. I felt left out excited for her and begrudged congratulated her! But then-- when the third one started taking a class, it was the straw that broke the camel's back I knew it was something I had to do too!

I spent nearly all of 2008 talking about "going back to school". I wondered if I could manage the homework while being a single mom. I worried about the expenses. I feared how long it would take, especially if I would have to go part-time. My friends said it was a good idea. Big-D encouraged me and told me I wasn't too old at all. My mom reminded me that she was older than dirt forty years old when she graduated from college.

I thought about that and I realized that my mother has been doing a job she enjoys and which she is good at for 15+ years. I reminded myself that I will be older than dirt forty in about 5 years and did I really want to be doing the job I am doing *now* for 15 more? Oh HELL-O No!

Nevertheless, I still only "thought" about going back to school. I wasn't sure where to even begin. Fast forward to May. If you remember, this is about the time I started talking to Eric, from back home. I was telling him about the idea of me going back to school. He said, "That sounds great! Where would you go?" I replied, "Probably just the community college. I think they might take most of my former credits." I added, "I would just finish my associates and then transfer to get my degree somewhere else." He then asked, "How much longer do you have to go?" I hesitated, "I am not really sure. Since I'd be going part time, my guess would be about four more years." Then he said, "Well, that doesn't sound too bad!" I sort of shrugged it off. "Yeah, I guess. I don't know... I haven't even applied yet." Then came the pivotal question, "Well what's stopping you??"

Just.Like.That.

It was as if time stood still for just a moment as those words reverberated in my head. What WAS stopping me? That single question set in motion the unraveling thread leading me down this path.

That question was a slap to reality a provocation, staring me in the face...taunting me. It was a question I couldn't ignore. What was stopping me? That's It! No more excuses. I have always been able to accomplish pretty much anything I have set out to accomplish. So, what was stopping me now? I had to call a spade a spade...And this Ace of Spades, my friends, was called FEAR.

As a person of Faith, I know that Fear and the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in the same place. I knew then that I needed to fear not; that I needed to take Fear head-on and replace it with Faith.

I CAN do Hard things... my mother even told me so :)

That very night I looked online and tried to figure things out. So much to do. So little time, and I would probably be too late anyway. Oh well, I thought. I will just "look and see" for next year. Wait! What's this? There is still time to apply for financial aid? The Community College is still accepting applications for Fall 2009? Couldn't be! But it was...

Well, I thought. I guess I could apply and all. I mean, I am sure that there isn't any money left, and I probably won't get in anyway. WRONG!

Apparently EVERYONE gets in to community college... who knew? ;)

And apparently there WAS money left. In fact with my piss-poor impoverished small income, I qualified for enough money that I would be able to go this year solely on grants... No Loans!!!

The rest seemed like a whirl-wind. Placement Testing. Applications. Transcripts Transfer Request. Enrolling in Classes. Getting Books...

I can't believe that here I am six months later, with my "thought" turned into "action". I love that everyone was so encouraging and supportive. I love that Eric gave me the kick in the pants push that I needed.

I sat through a training seminar for a few years back. I remember the speaker saying, "Power comes from telling the truth." She was right. I had to answer that question truthfully. I had to face my fears and "cowboy up", so to speak. And once again, thankfully, my faith prevailed. Not to say that fear and doubt still don't find a way to sneak in sometimes... but hey - I've got straight A's, so I must be doing something right! :)

15 comments:

Susie said...

You totally ROCK! That is my biggest regret...not going back to school. You are an inspiration!

Denise @ Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys said...

Yay Emma! I think it is awesome that you are going back to school. And you are right, Fear and the Holy Spirt can not live in the same place. Trust God and lean on Him and He will help you get through the next four years. It will be totally worth it.

Alice in Wonderland said...

Emma, that is great that you have started something new!
Fear and Faith just cannot live in the same place, so just go for it! You have nothing to lose, but everything to gain!

Puphigirl said...

Finally! I do something that YOU are jealous of. (In high school I was jealous that you could play piano better, do creative writing better, harmonize when I could only sing soprano,you had better fashion sense than I, and you were more outing...) When I was nearing age 35 I thought that if I can go back to school (part-time)and get my degree by the age of 40, I can work for 25 years and retire at age 65 or so.

Now, here I am, in my Junior year and pretty much done with the Generals and Electives and in the teaching program.

RhondaLue said...

YAY! You are truly superwoman! You may not FEEL like that but seriously, working full-time, single mother, school, blogging, ward activites, time to embarrass the kidlets....I don't know how you do it all! You are definitely an inspiration!

Ashley said...

Congratulations, Emma!!! That is so awesome!!! Working full time and going to school is quite a challenge for me. You ARE a superwoman to do both and be an excellent mother all at the same time. I'm in awe of you! Hahaha!

Ruthykins said...

unlike you, i have no draw to go back to school. it seems like such the popular thing right now. i guess i'm glad it took me so long to find my husband that i had time to get a degree, although only an associates.

Big Sis said...

You inspire me! I need to go back and finish too BUT first I need to FACE and DESTROY my FEAR!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm so glad you followed your dream and went back to school!

Tulsi said...

I wish I was that smart. I'm older than dirt and really want to take a photography class, but keep talking myself out of it. And I'm near the same University I went to when I was a spring chicken. Although it was a State College then. Yay for you. What a hard decision.

Debbi said...

this is another (add it to the million) reason I love you!

Paige said...

I think that is just great--I am proud of you!

Megs said...

Good for you Emma!! You can totally do it!!!

Blog Stalker said...

That is so awesome Emma! You go you! I have some cool news that is similar. I hope to share it soon!

Keep up the good work!

ps I see you are always studying at the library! Interesting place for blog ideas right? lol

Have a great day!

Era said...

I'm totally proud of you. Go get 'em tiger!