Thursday, September 16, 2010

Finding Direction

Every child has an idea of what they want to be when they grow up: little boys envision growing into firemen, doctors, or astronauts, while girls dream of life as a ballerina, a princess, or an obstetrician in my cousin Gillian's case. I claimed I wanted to be a “ceaning 'ady”, which baffles me now as cleaning is often the last thing on my mind. That phase did not last long, however, and for most of my life I have simply wanted to find a husband, have lots of kids and be a homemaker.
When I was fourteen I went to the wedding of my twenty-five year old cousin and I remember thinking, “Twenty-five is so old! I will definitely already be married by the time I'm twenty-five!” My plan was to be married at twenty-two, have my first child at twenty-five, and live happily ever after. I set off to college fully expecting to find my husband and not finish school.
With my homemaking goals in mind I had no idea what I wanted to study, but chose Elementary Education because it made sense: I love kids, and have a knack for teaching. I started out well with a semester of general education classes at a community college, but after transferring to a private University with a good Elementary Education program I realized that teaching was not my passion. I went back to the community college and enrolled in all fun classes for the next several semesters simply to secure coverage under my dad's insurance, and assumed I would figure out another major to undertake before long. But I was lost. I truly did not know what I wanted to do if “Plan A” failed, and as soon as I had a job that paid for my insurance, I quit school. What was the point without direction? What would I do with a degree in a field in which I had no desire to work? At that time I was still optimistic about finding a husband at a young age and not needing “Plan B”.
As time wore on and my plans remained unrealized, I began thinking more about my future and my possibilities. Instead of having my first child at twenty-five, I was single and working a mindless and mundane office job, desperately in need of change. Without knowing what I wanted to do, I decided to go back to school to finish my Associate Degree in the hopes that I would figure something out in the process. I applied at the local community college and was ready to register when I got sidetracked by what I refer to as the crap storm: one event after another that derailed my life as I knew it and pushed all thoughts of school out of my mind.
Over the next few years as I sorted through the debris left by the crap storm, I did a lot of thinking and realized that I wanted to write. I have always loved writing and have several story ideas that I have been working on for years, but I never make time to sit down and get them done. While a degree is not necessary to publish a book, it certainly cannot hurt, and it will give me the needed push to make time for writing..
I have been thinking about going back to school for Creative Writing for several months now, but a few weeks ago I decided to go for it. I knew I was cutting it extremely close when I applied at Pierce College and filled out the FAFSA two weeks before classes started, but I was accepted and given financial aid. I talked to a counselor about the classes I would need to take in order to transer to CSUN and graduate with my AA simultaneously, and it looks like I will only need a few semesters at Pierce. Unfortunately, because I applied so late, all the classes I do need are full, so I made up a schedule of classes I would be crashing and trying to add, and during the first week of school I attended eight classes. I was only able to register for Geography, but I am happy to have been able to get any class at all! I am once again officially a student, but for the first time I am genuinely excited about college. Though it took twenty-nine years, I finally know what I want to do!


  1. Good job, Rojtastic! I am so proud of you! Wooohoo! You'll have such an amazing GPA too, since you're going back to school when it really matters to you.

  2. Hun, things hardly ever go as planned. I think that makes us enjoy certain times in our life way more than if they had plopped in front of us according to this 'master plan' we made years before. I also think that going to school when you are actually ready for school is way more enjoyable and beneficial ...instead of just going after you graduate. How many of us REALLY know where we want to go in life as an 18yr old? You are on a path to success!