When I was young, I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t expect to do much with my life. As I entered adulthood, my goals were to get married, have kids, and maybe hold a supplement type of job.
Nothing wrong with that. I enjoyed being a mom, still do. While my marriage had its ups and downs, I was okay in mine for a while. But just okay. A big part of me felt incomplete. I thought maybe I should do more.
I drifted, uncertain if I could do anything well. Then my world fell apart. Doubts within myself skyrocketed. The final years of my marriage, I lived in a state of dark, emotional limbo until I hit my version of rock bottom.
It took another five years to pick myself up. I knew I didn’t have a choice, I had to figure it out. My greatest desire was to continue my education. I always felt like I missed out not going to college.
One day while having lunch with my son, who was a sophomore at Texas A&M, I voiced my dissatisfaction over my lack of not having a college degree. He looked at me like I’d turned purple and said matter-of-factly, you can go, Mom. Lots of women your age are going online.
I went home that day and signed up. In 2011, I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Business.
My next goal was to become a published author. It was something of a disappointment to find out most romance writers do not make a living doing what they love, but I didn’t stop. I couldn’t. I’d been bitten by the bug, and I had to power through. I was ecstatic when I was finally published, and I’ve since published (or to be published) five books. While I’m still not a New York Time’s bestselling author, I’m happy where I am in my writing career and will continue to move forward.
Still, I needed to make a decent living. That’s been an uphill struggle, even with my education. I’ll admit, I made some missteps—or mistakes, along the way, but I’ve learned to listened to my gut, my heart, (and my mother). In doing so, I’ve discovered the direction I am supposed to go.
Three years ago, I found myself working in a local elementary school as a paraprofessional, assisting children who required additional help in their studies. Days were chaotic. There were times I couldn’t believe what I witnessed. Yet, amid the chaos, I knew I’d found a home.
But I also knew I wasn’t finished. I had to take one more step. I had to become a bonified teacher. It’s been an uphill climb, and there were many times I wanted to throw in the proverbial towel, but I’m glad I didn’t.
Today, at the age of 59, I accepted the position of the Special Education Resource/Inclusion teacher. My first teaching position. There are still trials and tribulations ahead, but there’s joy, too.
I realize there many layers to peel away, and I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed. I know there’s more to come. I truly believe in me.