The Brown-Haired Scholar

Shaded autumn sun

She was a brunette Elle Woods,
with her retro, candied apple lipstick
& Eighties crimp,
filling out the vintage colors she wore
a little too snugly.
Through 12 semesters
of caffeine binges,
math lab hours,
writing tutors,
solidifying soft skills,
sharpening hard ones,
& breaking her own records;
through changing her mind
(if no one else’s) &
learning from examples,
as well as her own,
she found herself
inspired by those examples,
& herself more capable
than she had ever allowed herself to be.

32 Going On 17

schoolbooksI am doing in my thirties what I should have done in my twenties, and that is finishing college.  I have made about twenty trips to Pensacola State College over the summer (sometimes from Building 2 to 5 and back again in the same day), and my funding, schedule, et cetera, is finally in place.

I say I am doing now what I should have done then, even though I didn’t know what I wanted to do then.  All I ever knew I wanted to do was write.  I had thought I wanted to be a chef, just because I liked to cook.  I would have been miserable in that field.

I look at my schedule now, fifteen years later, and see Intermediate Algebra (which I am already stressing about, and is the reason I will only be taking nine credit hours instead of twelve; I will be making up the remaining three in the summer–I will have to concentrate on the math); I will also be taking Health Care Law and Medical Terminology.  I see these courses and wonder if I am trying to be something I am not, but then the scene in “Legally Blonde” comes to mind when Luke Wilson tells Reese Witherspoon that just maybe, she is trying to be something she is.  For years, I have believed that although I am talented on the creative end, I am not all that smart, and have allowed my belief that I cannot pass algebra at the college level keep me from reaching my full potential.

The medical field is a practical choice; I can do my writing anywhere.  An English degree would have been more fun, but maybe on my own dime…someday.

I am excited to begin this new chapter of my life.  Because I am trying, I am gaining confidence in my abilities; giving up (or giving in to one’s insecurities) inspires none.  I know self-confidence comes from inside us, but this degree will give me that when I go career searching (not job hunting).  Though I was brought up to believe that if you’re good, you needn’t toot your own horn, I have come to realize it helps to toot a bit softly, and with humility (you just have to be able to back it up).  I can do that with confidence now.