I dropped out of college when I found out I was pregnant with Braeden. All I had left to complete was student teaching and a few late in the game education courses about teaching for the state tests. But you can’t student teach when you are a single mom and need a full-time job with benefits. The winter after Braeden was born I started taking classes online to get my Associate’s Degree in Interactive Media Design. I worked all day, came home, took care of my heart and once he was asleep I studied all night. If he woke up in the middle of a project, which he often did, I would turn on music and dance my baby back to sleep, whispering the lyrics into his ear. I would not change one moment of any of those long days and nights. Not one moment. I was doing it for him, to show him his Mommy could rise above all of the darkness and despair. To show my boy there is always hope if you look for it. And you can accomplish anything you put your mind to accomplishing.
Now as a Mom of three, happily married… now I’m doing it for me. An Associate’s Degree simply isn’t enough.
Being the oldest person in my class really felt horrible when I decided to go back to school to complete my degree. Now I’m 9 courses away from a Bachelor’s in Human Services. My concentration being in Family and Administration Policy and all of my electives in Education Technology have placed me in that track as well.
I might end up being closer to 40 years old by the time I can complete the remaining courses.
It would be an amazing thing if my skills, my talent and my experience meant more than what that piece of paper called a diploma will mean, but that is not the case. We live in a superficial world…one that can be bought, one where labels dictate who you are and what you are allowed to accomplish.
So when these courses are complete, I’m not going to pay extra and buy a cap and gown. I’m not going to order a fancy ring. I’m going to receive the diploma in the mail after the fact and hang it on my wall. Really the people who know me, the people who have seen me grow, they already know I am worthy. The people who require that piece of paper to know my worth… well I’ll just smile and wish them the best.
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.