Now that I have a little over five weeks until classes start back up I think I need to spend a little time reflecting on my education, time off, and goals going forward.
It’s been difficult, to say the least, to get the right words out. These are the words that I want to share with people. I want to help others who, like me, are later bloomers or just want a change and just don’t know how to get the fire started. Believe me, it wasn’t easy! Part of my issue was that I didn’t think I could handle school again. I wasn’t the best, or even average, college student. Looking back, I know that is was because I didn’t really explore more in high school. I thought I knew what I wanted. After two years and four major changes, it is enough to know that I stopped. I think it is a little better to disappoint your parents than to waste four to five years of college tuition and end with no degree.
After marriage, having four kids, losing one kid, 13 years as an air force spouse, a very sudden discharge, and a final move across the country, we were in a place that I could start looking into my personal discovery.
I started by finding work. That is usually what one does when a spouse is unemployed. He was looking too, so it’s not like he was just being lazy, it just takes time to find a job in a career field that you have no experience in, just raw talent.
Apparently, my talent was running a cash register. Not that being a cashier is a bad thing, quite the opposite really, I think everyone should have at least one job being behind the cash register. However, I knew that it wasn’t a long-term gig for me. I really don’t like working with money, I like having it, spending it, but balancing the household budget and cashiering are different monsters, and I spent too much time worrying that I would give improper change, or even just tell the customer the wrong number. (I am slightly dyslexic when it comes to numbers and they get jumbled in my head.)
Jumping forward about a year.
My turning point was a field trip I chaperoned with my then 13 years-old twins. Now, I knew that I wanted to go back to school, I had tried to before a couple times but it never felt quite right, either timing or money was always a hindrance. Getting kids to think about their futures we toured the facility of Clover Park Technical College, a local community college that does have a lot to offer their students. We were sitting in a little group listen to one of the instructors talk about their program and I fell in love. Not with the instructor, but what he was talking about. I can’t remember what he was saying exactly, but he talked about paper, printing, figuring out how to print on paper to make books, images, color, type. All these things that I loved to create with and my brain just whirled with excitement. I knew then that this is what I wanted to study and do. Design was my new goal in life.