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,
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.
I 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.