I started college the fall after my high school graduation. I completed two semesters and then got married, moved to another state, and had a baby.
Alrighty then. Plans change, right? We take detours. We trip, fall and get back up again. That’s what I did. When my oldest son was just over a year old, I returned to college. I was a little older, a little wiser. I felt a lot of gratitude for the financial aid that made it possible for me to take a full load of classes.
Within a week of beginning school again, I stood in a public bathroom and held a positive pregnancy test.
I persevered and completed two more semesters. Then, I gave birth to my youngest son and moved to Mississippi.
At that point, I felt pretty gun-shy about school. I didn’t want to have another baby or move to another state, and it seemed to be the result every time I enrolled in college. I started joking I wouldn’t finish school, because I didn’t want to get pregnant again. People laughed, and I got out of really facing my lack of desire, my unwillingness to finish what I started.
I was tired, more than anything.
Instead, I focused on my writing. I worked my tail off and eventually landed a literary agent and began the journey toward publication.
Now, here I am, thirty-four years old, watching my dream of being a career-novelist dissolve into a possible mirage. Maybe it will happen. Maybe it won’t. Either way, I have to stop clinging to that dream as if it is all that matters. My tunnel vision in this regard keeps me from living into my purpose. With nothing to hold onto outside of writing, I am left to crash and burn over every setback.
I’ve spent the last year wrestling with this, and I am finally there. I finally feel sure of what I need to do.
It’s time to finish.
Whatever it takes to finish things, finish. You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished.” –Neil Gaiman
My youngest son is twelve, so it has been twelve years since my last college class. I don’t know how many of my credits will transfer to a new school.
What if I’m not as smart as I used to be?
What if I still can’t pass a math class?
What if I’m totally wrong and school is not the answer?
I may have to struggle more than I did twelve years ago. I’m pretty sure I will. Passing math is going to be a challenge, hands down. I failed remedial college math in the year 2000, and I doubt I will be magically better come 2017. Also, I may very well be wrong. I might have concocted this whole “I must finish school” idea inside my own head.
I’m going to finish, though. I’m going to let my kids see me finishing what I started, not being afraid to dream a new dream, buckling down and doing the hard work.I’m going to let my kids see me finishing what I started.Click To Tweet
I’m going to finish.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24