I have spent some time thinking about the next blog entry. A few things crossed my mind, and then this morning I had CMT playing as background music/noise. Reba McEntire’s new song “Going Out Like That” came on. As I listened, I was reminded of another song. Titled, “Is There Life Out There”. “Is there life out there” was released in 1992, it seems like a lifetime ago. Here is the link for the video for those of you who aren’t familiar with the song or artist:
Fast forward a few years and I am a partner, a mother of two, working at a minimum wage paying job (trying to contribute to our family income). I remember seeing the video and thinking, wow if only I had the courage to be that woman… As life does it continued, and I continued playing it safe. Then I found myself unemployed, with a decision to make. I still remember my first time on St Thomas University campus, going to drop off my application. I told myself if I had the courage to walk across the campus and find the registrar’s office then I could do this university thing. My first degree had a lot of similarities to the video, feeling awkward, old and out of place on campus. Trying to juggle a family, work, and school. Late night’s studying and many times telling my children, “When mommy is done school, I will be a better mom.” Every now and then I still get that guilty feeling for thinking I could never get back that time. Then I social work myself and gently remind myself that ‘guilt’ is a useless emotion.
A few years later I signed up for another degree, this time graduate school, the kids were older which made things easier. Less of the guilt for sure. I remember the day I received my Master of Social Work Degree, the prominent memory is when I walked off stage my husband and both my children were there to congratulate me. While they were there for the first degree the second degree was different, my kids were adults now. I think they understood the importance of carving out my own identify as a woman. One other person was there, one of my closest friend’s and supporters; Heather. I met Heather when we were both at St Thomas and both applying for the Social Work Program. Little did I know the cute “little girl” would share my journey and we are more similar than different. I am grateful to have met her but to also continue to nurture that friendship. A friendship more like family. We’ve supported each other through two degrees; raising families, balance of work and everything else that shows up. Had I not had the courage to walk across the campus that day I would have never met one of my closest friends.
My purpose for doing the second degree wanted to open SHE and wanting to offer a better experience to those who are seeking assistance. Last fall I took the leap and haven’t regretted it for a moment.
The purpose of sharing these personal details is this morning was the first time I realized I was the woman in the video. Had I not started the journey 14 years ago, I would not be the woman I am today and SHE would not exist… Our time here is limited, what I know for sure is time will pass. What we do with it really is ours for the making. So if there is a change you are thinking of making, go for it! Not everyone will support you and that is okay. But for those few that does, please return the favor and invest in those relationships, as they may be the ones that last a lifetime. Unless we have the courage to step into our next great quest, our time here will pass and you will have to look back and wonder. What could have been?