Wow. First week of school down. First test in each class down. I truly never thought I'd be back there. It's surreal, walking those sidewalks, seeing the old buildings mixed with the new ones. The library is laid out differently; the student union is under construction; the students are mostly younger than me. I had one good panic attack the day before I started classes. I wasn't excited, I wasn't peppy, I was terrified. I had that all too familiar feeling of everything spinning out of my control, spiraling downward into a pit of disaster. It didn't help that my birthday was looming just 4 days after the first day of school.
Out of college for 15 years, out of high school for 19, didn't do great in college the first time around! Why on Gaia's green Earth did I ever think I could return to University and actually....do something? Is it because it's paid for? Am I trying to prove something? If so, to whom? Who exactly do I think I'm fooling with this....I mean, I haven't finished anything in my life except for Marine Corps boot camp and high school. Why this, why now?
And then the ultimate question:
What if I fail?
What if the material is too foreign, too new? What if I'm too old? What if I'm even dumber now than I was back then? What if I can't juggle raising a child, keeping house, and working?
The first day came and went. Then the first week. I not only managed to do homework, I kept the house fairly clean, laundry isn't trying to attack anyone, the girl got to her appointed places at the appointed times and oddly enough I think I had more time with her over the course of the week. Work kept percolating, nothing crashed and fell. I'm exhausted. That's my only complaint right now. But that's what weekends are made for. Unfortunately, what little social life I had is now shot to shit, but that is no big deal. I know I will find ways around that. I feel more myself than I have in a long time. I can't say that I'm enjoying the classes I'm taking, but I don't hate them. They are very challenging but I have to have them if I want to get my degree and that pretty university ring. You see, everyone needs incentive, mine is jewelry.
As far as the line of questioning that went on...well, I am trying to prove something to someone. Me. What I learned in the Corps is we are only as weak as our weakest link. Well, for years I was married to my weakest link. He needed me to survive. He needed my hard work, my blood, sweat & tears, my drive to feed his ego. Over time I became as weak as he in a different way. I had resigned myself to a life of labour and toil. Higher education only came in forms of OJT and short course job training. It was never actually said that I wasn't allowed to go to school, it was simply that there was never money within the household budget to allow for such a thing. I was needed to work and help provide, you can't go to school if the support isn't there. I refuse to be my own weakest link, that's just how it is.
I know what certain people are muttering: "she said she wasn't gonna get married again, she said she'd never go back to college, well, wtf is she doing? I guess she's just full of lies."
I didn't know what was going to happen with Honey, we let things do what they did. It took us 3 years to decide to jump that broom and it took me months to allow myself to entertain the notion of returning to school. Intentions, as with all things relative, change according to environment and necessity. School wasn't supposed to be this strict endeavor. I wanted a couple of classes on metal working on a small scale. Well, that is only offered at one place here, so that is where I am going. As per Liz, I did what was necessary to carry out the plan. Anyone who knows me knows I will throw my all into it, until I have this whole issue licked. I don't do things half-assed. Will I be a straight A student? Probably not. But will I do my very best and do the work necessary to get the passing grade? Absolutely.
I look at this as one of the most important things I will ever do. It goes so far beyond just getting a degree in Visual Arts...it's:
proof that I can do it
an example to my child
something to claim entirely as my own
something no one can take from me
not being handed to me
a big finger in the air to my naysayers-the willfully ignorant-who cast me out and look down on me.
I have a lot of living to make up for.