18 months ago I took a chance on myself (and my family) and enrolled into college. With two kids, a husband and not much spare time as it was I had more than major doubts but I also knew I would regret not trying. I also knew if I was going to go anywhere with my graphic design business I had to get competitive and gain skills that would put me at the top for any clients. Also, I had always worried that if anything happened to my husband, and I needed to go back to work, I had very few marketable skills, and that was unsettling.
My first day was so overwhelming for me, when I got home I just cried because I didn't think that I was smart enough to do it and I felt silly and old, that I didn't belong. But I owed it to myself and my family to at least give it my best. Plus I couldn't let my six and seven year old see me quit. They thought it was so exciting that Mom was going back to school. My goal was to just take it one day at a time, one homework assignment at a time and try not to think of how daunting it all was. And soon enough I starting feeling a lot more comfortable, finding a groove and balancing between school and home. Next thing I knew I was finished with my first set of classes with all A's! Now don't get me wrong... I knew early on there were things that would have to be compromised in order for this school thing to work out. This blog for one was put on the back burner, my husband had to help out a lot more with cooking(going out to eat) and helping the kids with their homework so mom can do hers and I wasn't able to volunteer in my boys class rooms this past year. I was feeling bad about this one day and my dentist told me it was good for the whole family to sacrifice a little for something as important as this and that we would all be better in the long run. And she was so right. And strangely enough it made us closer and we actually had more family time if you can believe it. Because I had this outside interest of school and my entire focus wasn't just on my family I didn't take them for granted as much and all of my spare time was focused on my family because I couldn't get enough of them.
Then by the time I was at my halfway mark at school I had gotten a real taste for A's and knew there was no excuse for me to not achieve an A in all my classes. This is strange because I almost failed out of high school. I was a terrible student growing up and I even failed out of collage the first time I went right out of high school. But going back to college was unexpectantly empowering. I really came to know just how capable I am after accomplishing one task after another and somehow excelling at each one because I had the mind set to do my own personal best.
Well I just graduated from College on Saturday Three months before my 30th birthday with a 4.0 and also picked up another degree along the way, so I graduated not only in Graphic and Web Design but also Web and Animation. I was also fortunate enough to be a Graduation Speaker which was a challenge all in itself, but by taking one step at a time (and a mental break down) I conquered that as well. I have been through a lot during my lifetime and never thought I would go to collage and I was encouraged by my teachers to share my journey to graduation. When I was writing my speech I was worried that it was a little to raw and a little to heavy for a graduation speech. I kept telling myself "I can't tell a room full of strangers that stuff, its too vulnerable, its too humiliating!" But this was my journey. I knew I had to be brave for myself. If nothing else I had to tell my story for me. This was my conquering moment. I hadn't got where I was by not giving it my all and I wasn't going to start now. So here is my crazy, scary, brave speech... that ended up being one of the most amazing moments of my life ending in a standing ovation that I never saw coming.
I am just full of so much gratitude for this amazing experience and the wonderful people who pulled me through it. I wouldn't have been able to do any of if without their support and encouragement. It took a village.