Little Bits of Pixie Dust

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thourougly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


My best friend told me yesterday that she is quitting her job and going back to school to become a nurse. Of course, I'm very happy for her and am thrilled that she is able to do this... but I am SO jealous of her.

I went to college right after high school... in the neighborhood that I grew up in, that is just what everyone did. I graduated when I was seventeen because I had started school early. So there I was, fresh out of high school and just seventeen years old, and expected to make these mature and adult decisions. I moved into my first apartment with four other girls and threw myself into the whole college lifestyle- in other words, I did absolutely no work, partied all night and slept through class the next day, drank myself into a stupor... all those usual things. I was too young, I know now, to be set free like that. I had lived a pretty sheltered life, and to all of a sudden be thrown into this freedom was just too much for me to take. After two semesters, I was put on academic probation. I had always done well in school, and I think I just convinced myself that I could pull myself back up again. However, I couldn't be bothered to stop the late night beer pong or the sleeping till noon thing. One more semester, and I was out. Kicked out of school. It was probably the "worst" thing that I had ever done. I was a model kid, never did anything wrong and always made my parents proud... now I had to tell them that their precious baby had gotten kicked out of college! I was mortified and depressed.

Surprisingly, my parent's didn't immediately push me out of the family all together. They told me to take this as a time to get my life together, figure out what I wanted to do and how to do it. The first thing I did was get a full time job, as a copy girl at a law firm. I worked everyday, and now I had to excuse myself at 10 to go to bed since I had to be up and at work the next morning. I had to pay my own bills, because when I was kicked out of school my parent's told me that the free ride was over... I had blown that chance. I had to learn to take care of myself. And I honestly think that this period of time did a lot of good for me. I learned that you have to rely on yourself, and you have to be responsible in order to survive. Looking back now, I should have taken this year BEFORE I went to college and learned these things before a lot of money was wasted, but I didn't. The most important thing I learned was that I desperately wanted to go back to school. I most certainly did NOT want to be a copy girl for the rest of my life.

I went back. I saved up some hard earned money and I went back to school. And this time around, I don't know if it was the fact that I was paying for it myself or just that I had learned my lesson the first time, I did really well. My GPA never went below a 3.5. I did things such as study, and time manage. I was good; I was on the right track and I was going to finish school!

Then something horrible happened to me, and I fell apart. I couldn't get up in the morning, couldn't face getting out of bed. I had terrible insomnia and couldn't go to sleep sometimes until the sun was coming up. I couldn't face all the people in class, couldn't do homework, couldn't do much of anything but lay in bed. I had to drop out of school. I swore to myself that I would be back someday, though.

Things got better. I went to counseling and started working on some things. I met A*. Then A* and I decided to move in together. All of a sudden, I really had to be a grown-up. We both had to work full time just to keep our heads above water. School wasn't even an issue... there was no money, that was it. I put the dream back on the shelf for a little while longer. A* and I got new jobs, got a new apartment, and still it sat there.

Now we are doing okay. We have a beautiful apartment and are (usually) able to pay all of our bills. I'm proud of how far we have come. But I feel like it is time for me now. I want to go back to school. I don't want to be stuck in a cubicle for the rest of my life, in a job where I make not that much money and don't get that much satisfaction from. I know that I have gifts that I could be using, if only I had that elusive degree. And I want it more than anyone.

So when my friend told me that she was going back to school, a little part of my heart broke, because it just brings into focus how I am NOT going back, or even close. Yeah, I know there are options, and loans, and stuff like that. I know it. But I also know that there are never enough loans, and that I would still have to work full time and I don't think I would do well with that. I guess that dream has to go back up on its shelf for just a little bit longer. I hope that it doesn't get all dusty up there while I'm getting my life in order. I want to go back so badly I can just taste it. I know that A* would do anything that he could to help me, and I'm not done with this. I am going to keep thinking, and planning, and even if I am ninety by the time I make it back to the classroom, by God I will be sitting there with my walker propped up beside me.

What's that saying? About working hard for things and not appreciating them until they are gone? Yeah, I am on familiar terms with those kinds of sayings. But I can only learn from my mistakes and move on from them.

Even if I do kind of have this gleam of the green eyed monster in my eyes right now.


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