I want to do something more. I need to do something more. I feel too powerless, too helpless in life, and I want to live a life free from regret.
But I have this one regret that I simply can't shake. And I'll probably be crying as I type this.
Last Sunday, representatives from BYU and it's partner schools in Idaho, Hawaii, and the LDS Business College came to our Stake Center to present an education fireside. It was for students in grades 8-12 and their parents, basically with a tutorial of how to get into the various universities and what to expect once you're there. I learned a lot. And the whole time I was wishing that I was in grades 8-12, and that what I was looking at on that screen would be my imminent future and that I could be preparing for it with gusto, as I know my own children are now.
I make no bones about it. I should have gone to school. I had the grades, I had the ACT score. I had the acceptance. I even had some scholarship help. I should have gone. I wish someone had pushed me. I wish I knew then what I know now. I should have gone. I will not allow my daughter to make the same mistake that I made.
Sure, I'm proud of the things that I've accomplished even without school. I've been blessed with many opportunities that I don't feel worthy or deserving of. I'm grateful that I have spent my years as a mother, and I do not regret that. But I should have gone to school. I want it so badly that it consumes my thoughts many days. Is it possible for me to go back in time, in a way, and catch up? Can I go back and fill in that chapter of my life? Sure, it won't be entirely the same, especially socially, being in my mid-thirties and married with 4 kids and all, but I think all that considered, it would still light my fire in a way that I need.
Education is so important to me! I've dedicated 11 years to homeschooling my own children and hammering into their heads that they are each getting at least a Master's degree. Period. We learn and read around here like other people snack and breathe. And I don't discount the learning that I continue to do personally, but I want more.
And life is so uncertain. I've been a single mom with no real job skills to speak of. Now, I'm a married mom who has tried her best to shoulder financial pressures with her husband who struggles against a weak economy and a slow job market, with no steady employment. So I teach piano. I bake cakes. I write. And I wish I could go to school.
I want to get an RN. It hit me two weeks ago. I could be a Nurse! There is a nursing shortage, especially in CA and nurses are paid very well here. After finishing up prerequisites (which if the college will accept my classes from eons ago, I will only have three more to take before I could apply to the Nursing program), the program is 2 years. Well, I'll still be here in 3 years, and probably still struggling. Maybe even more so. Life is so uncertain. I don't like the fear and the helplessness I feel inside. I want to do something about it, for me. For my family. For my children. I know the road would be long and hard, and I know the competition is very fierce, but another goal I've had "down the road" is to be a midwife, and an RN is the foundation of that goal as well. I think I should do it. I want to do it.
But I don't know how. Yet.
I don't have a car. Public transportation is not an option. Even the college website says that. I wish I had a car. I miss being able to drive my kids places, or go somewhere as a whole family. (Ah, the beach! The museum! Sean's soccer game!) It's one of those awful vicious cycles. You need money to buy a car, but you need a car to seek more money. I see lovely minivans and those hefty Suburbans and I send my positive energy out there that somehow, in some way I will be able to have a vehicle to drive my children around, and to get me to and from school. (Heck, to evacuate in case of a fire, like we were threatened with last week! Or in the event of the looming "big one"! All so scary to consider, when you know you couldn't even fit your children in the car, let alone supplies and important things if you suddenly had to leave.)
I go to the college website and browse around. Glendale Community. Great nursing program. Not too far away. I'm sure I could get financial aid. What if I could be a nurse? It's exciting for me to even think about! I could work in obstetrics, or a burn unit, or in surgery. Would someone hire an almost 40 year old nurse? Is it too late? I want to be helpful. I want to be a blessing. I want to know that no matter what happens, I'll be okay.
I'm really toying with the idea of filling out an application to see what happens. Maybe I need to take that leap of faith and trust that a way would be provided. Aaaagh! Scary!