[Original post was published on 4/30.2009. It is now 2014 and my editing is in red] The following is my first unedited entry which I wrote 4th of April, but never published on this blog:
Monday is the big day! After 24 years of waiting patiently for the children to grow up and have a life of my own again, the day has finally arrived. I will be graduating Monday...a BA in history!
Just over 3 years ago, I attended my first class at age 42. It was touch and go the first month. Anxiety struck at exactly 3am each morning for 2 weeks. "Just get through the day," I kept telling myself, "you can do this." Dreams filled my few sleeping hours with professors in my dreams telling me "You don't belong here." [The last sentence is a poor sentence construction. It should have read 'My few hours of sleep are filled with dreams of professors telling me "You don't belong here."]
It pretty much sums up my life. In what way you ask? Well, let's analyze this short statement: "After 24 years of waiting for the children to grow up"... understatement. My children were 13, 17, and 21.5 years of age when I began university… hardly grown up. Experts say we don't completely mature until the age of 25. Let's just say that my children were old enough to observe their that mother was a pitiful 42 year old woman chasing a dream, but not old enough to understand that I was in fact reclaiming myself from motherhood.
"Life of my own?" What world was I in? You NEVER have a life of your own. You are either tied to your parents, siblings, spouse, or children. I find it irksome [replace with irritating] when my children say[:] "When I have a life of my own … [blah, blah, blah]." When will they realise [that] they are an extension of two other people who will most likely depend on them some day [?] Funny how children grow [Omit hypen - why did I put a hyphen in grow up anyway?] up with the attitude that it wasn't their choice to be born so why should they be burdened by their parent's choices. No one chose to be born. We all suffer consequences of our parent's decisions! I digress...the point is, I will never have a life of my own. I'm not sure I want a life of my own … seems it would be a very lonely place to be. All I really want is my recipe of success: individuality, acknowledgment of my pain (emotional or otherwise), and a voice that is heard (you don't have to agree with it...just consider it). [What a pitiful recipe of success - haha! Okay, my new and improved recipe of success: (1) Work hard for what you want, but be prepared to accept that you may not get what you worked for and it's okay because you did your best. There are no guarantees in life, no matter how hard you worked. (2) Set short and long term goals. Milestones are fantastic motivators towards achievement! (3) Nobody cares about your pain but you. It's how you chose to deal with adversary that makes or breaks you. (4) Happiness is created, not given. Make yourself happy. (5) Your 'voice' can be expressed in different ways. I prefer writing. I have't decided what type of writer I'd like to be. Essayists impress me but they seem to be on an ego trip. I don't feel the need to boost my ego. Creative writing? I've started a book, but who knows if I'll finish it. I would like to write a graphic novel, a novel, a short story, and an essay at least once in my life.
Anxiety? It reared its ugly little head with each assignment. Until this day I'm a little [replace ellipses with a hyphen] no, a lot [replace ellipses with a hyphen] 'touch and go' when I work on an essay. Why is that? I don't know [replace ellipses with a period] Perhaps [I'm - omit 'm] still have little confidence in myself, or perhaps this is the way I react to stress. At least I'm certain that its not those pesky professors in my dreams telling me I don't belong there. Actually, I've been encouraged to think about moving towards a Masters degree. No comment. [No 'perhaps' about it. I still react to stress this way - ha! Masters degree? Nope - I chose to get my Bachelor of Arts (Honors). The topic of my 10,000 word dissertation (okay - it was more than 10,000 when you include footnotes) was 'From Sorrow to Salvation: Female Expressions of Grief in Christian and Islamic Religious Drama'. I graduated with First Class Honors in 2011. I followed this with studying for a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary). I graduate in May! I am awaiting my Provisional Teaching Registration which I hope to receive next week but, as of yet, I have not landed a teaching position. I LOVE teaching!]
"You can do this." Yes, but I have to tell myself every day [replace ellipses with a hyphen] and some times, to the annoyance of others, out loud. I've accepted that, at least in this stage of my life, fear of failure will always be on my heels. Perhaps that is a good thing? Perhaps this is the key to my achievements. Time will tell. [Fear of failure has definitely been the key to my success and continues to be. It's working - ha!]
Graduation day [replace ellipses with a question mark] Lovely, to say the least.
A sense of achievement? Of course!
Better than I hoped? Absolutely!
Would I do it over again? Probably.
Will I be glad when its over?...you betcha!