When I decided to go back to school it was out of desperation. I had been laid off halfway through my pregnancy but was certain that I would love being a stay at home mom. In fact, during extremely stressful days on the job, I would always remind myself that someday I would have kids and I would stay home with them and work would be a thing of the past.
HA! Every mom who has ever stayed home for a day with their child just laughed at me and my naivete.
I had always wanted to be a teacher but had convinced myself that more important than doing what made me happy was making MONEY! The big bucks. We all know that the teaching profession does not have a stop on the road riches. I found my way into real estate finance, found moderate success and the potential to make the big bucks and settled in for the long haul. But I hated it. Ugh. I really, really, really hated it.
About two months after Conor was born I knew I was not cut out to be a stay at home mom. I knew I wanted to go back to work but just as surely I knew I couldn't go back into the mortgage industry. I just...couldn't. In fact, even now, three years after being (mercifully) laid off, my stomach flips over and my palms sweat at the mere thought of mortgages.
I"m not really sure how the thought came about to go back to school and finally persue my dream of teaching. But on April 25, 2008 I applied for financial aid and began the process of becoming a college student.
It wasn't easy. In fact, I don't know what kept me going. Applications were lost, transcripts were misplaced, Portland State admitted me, then un-admitted me, then made me pay $50 to re-admit me. I had NO idea what I was doing. I was afraid of being the oldest person on campus. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to keep up, I was afraid that people would think I was SO uncool that I would be laughed off campus. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to carry a backpack or a bookbag or nothing? Was I supposed to just lug my books around? Did people even use books anymore? What if I couldn't find my class? WHAT IF I COULDN'T DO IT?
Well, I did it. And I did it with honors which was a silly idea I had entertained before I even enrolled for my first term. And sometimes the thought that I did it, that I completed something BIG, takes my breath away. And it doesn't have anything to do with being a mom, or being pregnant, or being over 30. It has everything to do with taking the one, terrifying first step on April 25, 2008 and then taking that last deep-breath-heave-a-sigh-of-relief last step on June 13, 2010. All of a sudden, I'm not afraid to try anymore. And that, friends, is my real accomplishment.