Monday, November 29, 2010

Now what?!



I have been contemplating left turns, 180 degree shifts, outside "the box" and the road not taken this past month.  While it seems as though I have been in some degree of turmoil or another for months (no home, no job, no money), it really has only been 2 months since my world shifted significantly.  Today, as I am about to commit to a 2 year post secondary program (the first in my life I am almost ashamed to say), I am once again pondering how best to honour one's instincts. Actually, that is a cop-out; I am really just getting shift-y and scared about taking on something that I have always said I wanted to do and now I have to put my money (or rather Student Aid's money) where my mouth is and jump in. 

I am in the process of writing an essay in application for a scholarship specifically for women taking on a college education "later in life".  Yes, that is me.  Thirty six years ago, a fresh faced, "cookies and milk" girl from Calgary completed high school and considering a degree in social work, worked as a long distance operator and lived at home, dreaming of travel to castles in England.  Along came an exciting, older man who, while not exactly sweeping her off her feet, did provide a perfect exit to the first family life.  Moving to the west coast, marrying, birthing children, working, running businesses - just life - filled the next 35 years.  Each time that the idea of college or university came up there was always another priority, a more important consideration and the thought passed by, the current catalogue of classes became out of date and eventually recycled. 

Now, (it seems - I am still hedging my bets and feeling uncertain) is the perfect time to go back to school.  I am not in the midst of an exciting, upwardly mobile career, my children are grown and self sustaining, my mom's health is stable, my husband is at home in a semi-retired state and I ain't got nothin' to lose and everything to gain!  I have chosen a two year program in HR Management which could lead to a degree program or further education and will provide me with a diploma and education to provide credibility to my own natural abilities.  I have always loved being in training and even loved the challenge of studying for my real estate license.  So, you may ask, what is going on today??

Well, the "what-if's" are picking away in my brain, although, even as I type this, I can see how weak that sounds. The money comes up as it looks as though I am mortgaging my future (you got something better to invest in??).  The Student Aid is so measly that no human being could live on it (that is why you keep your part time work and continue to build more flexible options and HELLO, aren't you a coach?  Coaching does not require a regular schedule.).  And, okay, if we dig down a layer or two, I am just plain scared.  What if I go to school for 2 years, complete the program and still can't find a job that I love?  What if I am a terrible student and completely incompetent?  What if I can't find my way around a campus and feel like an idiot?  What will the other students think of me being in post-secondary school for the first time at 53 years old?  Like I said, the what-if's are prolific and the wonder of transcribing this all down on the bright little screen is that I can answer them all with "so-what's"! 

Since I actually took the step to inquire about the program, received information and started to complete what is necessary, I have held out that if the perfect job opportunity presented itself that I would take that.  In fact, it became that if any fulltime job came up that I would probably jump at it as money has been squeaky tight this past number of weeks.  No such alternatives have presented themselves and the patchwork quilt of options continues as the best coverage that I can create.  So... I will be heading off to the college tomorrow morning and paying my fees so that I can register for classes to start in January!  There, I have said it out loud and in public. 

The next adventure awaits....

3 comments:

elaine katherine laurin said...

welcome to your new path, nothing is interfering, i would take that as confirmation that you my dear are a new full time student in higher education and an old soul who knows unerringly the unspoken language of the path... go for it, glad i am along for the ride vicariously, so proud of you !!!!!

Donna, Doni, Lady D said...

You are loving yourself enough to recognize this is deep down what you want ... congratulations. You are a courageous woman, Carol! I wish we could go for lunch and blab our heads off ... woman power is so awesome when we have that little bit of fear. It will dissipate quickly in your new environment. You are an HR natural. I'm with you in spirit, my arms wrapped around you in love and support. Keep in touch. I am standing with you and for you. lots of love, Donna

Ruth said...

I finished my BA late in life, and I went through some of the "shame" but it really felt good. When fellow students called me "ma'am" and I was the most eager discusser in classes with 19-year-olds, I sometimes felt "other". But as you say, so what? Being bold is what women get to do at our age, just doing what we want to. As you take steps toward this goal, you'll know if it feels right, even when it might be difficult.

There's just something about that word "adventure" when you want it ...