Saturday, January 05, 2008

*deep breath* I'm actually going to do it...

A year or so ago, I requested information from St. Mary of the Woods on their Women's External Degree program. I swooned and fell in love. Nothing touches my spirit like education geared toward women. I loved my all girl high school and love that this is primarily still an all women's college. Their distance learning program was set up in 1973 for women just like me. Just paging through the beautiful brochure, I felt so at home and so drawn...but also so unworthy. My attempts at writing my essay for the application started at pathetic and moved on to reeking of desperation.

In the sixteen years since I quit college and became a teen mother, I have been unable to shake the judgment that society had put upon me. I thought I had risen above it all and told society to, in essence, "Bite me." But, it turns out that is not the case. I internalized every disgusted look and every sigh of disappointment. And when the time came to express myself as the self-confident, self-reliant, self-appreciative woman of purpose and humor with endless possibilities and capabilities that I thought I was, my facade that surrounded what I really thought of myself shattered and I was left with the aforementioned pathetic desperation.

So, I put away the glossy course catalog and my application forms and thoughts of finally getting my bachelor's degree. Then, this past week on the way to my brother-in-law's house in Indianapolis, we drove through Terre Haute. As we drove past the exit, I was pulled off the highway like there was a string tied around my heart. And on New Year's Eve 2007, I made the most important resolution I have ever made. One that I am destined to succeed at. I will be attending St. Mary of the Woods College this year. I will.

I just made my first step. I registered for the Open House that will be held January 14th. I know once I talk to these women and they talk to me, we will figure out how to make this happen. My stomach is churning and my chest is fluttering and my eyes are watering. It will probably take me 10 years to finish, but this time...I will

14 comments:

shaz said...

good luck my friend, i wish you all the best!

valerie said...

"the self-confident, self-reliant, self-appreciative woman of purpose and humor with endless possibilities and capabilities that I thought I was" - you are, you know, even if not through and through. Even the most seemingly-self confident person out there is putting on a show to hide insecurities. It's that you rise above your fears that makes you strong. And having the fears makes you human and approachable and more empathic.

You go girl! I know you can do it.

annie said...

wow... good for you! My mom got her degree at the age of 50 after we were all grown and gone - it's never too late.

jlp from ivfc said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome, cakes. You know, I still say "bite me" to anyone who would dream of judging you for that, but... I get it. My DH didn't go to college and feels much the same as you, especially when schmoozing with colleagues and the talk turns to the ol' college days. (He's looked into U of Phoenix.)

Best of luck. It doesn't matter how long it takes. And if you ever need a pal to proof a paper for you, you know where to find me. ;)

Chris said...

I just happened to stumble across your blog. I'm the VP for Academic Affairs at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. I have worked with hundreds of women in our Woods External Degree program just like you - with families, jobs, full and productive lives. I am thrilled to read that you are going to start the program this year. Your passion and motivation are evident in your blog. Don't sweat your application essay - just send it in! That first step is the hardest, but once you're in, you'll find that the SMWC community is here for you all the way! It's really an amazing place.

Adorable kids, by the way! You must be quite a mom. Hope to meet you soon.

Jenni said...

Well, how cool are you?

Not too cool for school, obviously. You go! ;o)

lauraszoo said...

YOU know YOU can do it, and thats all that matters. Good Job!

gem said...

Go for it! You have achieved so much already, you can do it. It will be really hard work, I'm sure of that, but it will be fantastic for you and your whole family. My Dad went to Medical school in his mid thirties with 4 children. He had to give up hus job to do so and my Mum, who worked part time, had to support the family. It was hard for them and thay had a lot of debt that they would not have had otherwise but I have never heard either of them say they regretted it. Well done for taking the first step. I am excited for you and I don't even know you!!

Tertia said...

very very proud of you my darling friend. go for it!!

xxxx

PS you WAY underestimate yourself, you are far more fabulous than you give yourself credit for

Cakes said...

You guys are so awesome! Every College Girl needs her cheerleaders!

And Chris, I hope to meet you soon, as well.

Mel your new BF said...

How cool that Chris left that comment!! I know I am once again stealing my sister's friends but I too am very proud of you!
You got BIG balls girl!!!

Niki said...

Add me to the cheerleader list! Always wanted to be a cheerleader! What is our uniform like? ;)

And dittoing how cool Chris' comment is. The VP of Academic Affairs stubbling on your site to affirm you? Yup, God is doing his work!

The Wadhwa Family said...

I'm so excited for you, Cakes! I got goose bumps reading your post! I checked out the school wesbite via the link you provided and it looks fabulous and just your ticket. Any idea what you might study? How about professional writing?? I think there must be a million books you could write. I can't wait to read posts from you about this new area of your life.

lesleysmeshly said...

Congratulations! That must feel so scary, exciting, and wonderful all at once! I wish you the best!!