It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. – e.e. cummings
My beautiful smart daughter gave me a plaque and bracelet emblazoned with this quote. I was chasing a dream and she wanted me to know how proud she was.
At age 51 I had been accepted to grad school to pursue a Master’s of Social Work degree. It took me quite a lot of living and struggling, but I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I specifically wanted to work with people who were grieving. There’s a reason for that, but that’s a story for another day.
So I sent emails, plastered it on Facebook…..”I got in! I’ve been accepted. Expected graduation August 2016!”
And then doubts and uncertainties began to creep in….insidious, sly, devil on my shoulder kind of doubts. I kept yelling at them to “Shut the hell up! I CAN do this!”
But even a PollyAnna has to acknowledge some realistic truths to be able to survive in an Eyeore, cynic centered world. Those truths?
*I work full-time at a job I love. The job I love also means some evenings and weekends to be able to accommodate my volunteer’s schedules.
*After 12+ years of singledom, I married the most incredible man on April 14, 2012. That union brought be two more children to love and fuss over and a whole new extended family that I adore. I love my life. For the first time in perhaps, ever, my life has balance.
So I shared my doubts and concerns with my ever-supportive husband. He encouraged me, said we can work it out and he didn’t want me to quit before I start. I HATE that word: QUITTER! (Thanks, Dad – again a story for another day) My husband knew what buttons to push.
I ignored that deep down in my gut, knowing, and moved forward attending orientation and the first week of classes.
I had to face what I knew to be deep down true….I didn’t want this bad enough. I have struggled for years, fighting, clawing to support myself and my daughter. There wasn’t a moment to think about what I ‘wanted’ only time to do what must be done.
For reasons I can’t begin to understand, God has blessed me at this time in my life with the luxury of thinking about what I want. And what I want…..is exactly what I already have. I certainly thought the advanced degree and potential path to a different career was what I wanted. But not enough to sacrifice what I have in my life now.
I am so grateful I had the opportunity to pursue my education. I readily acknowledge many do not. Probably many will consider me a coward and a quitter. That’s ok. Not pursuing this dream, just means I will identify and pursue others. This blog is one of them 🙂
My concern: Would my daughter still be proud of me? Would she repo my plaque and bracelet? Thankfully no, she just wants me to be happy. Ironically, the same wish we have for our kids.
If it takes courage to grow up and be who you really are, then I have to say for today, I am exactly who I am supposed to be.
And that’s what I know….today.