Sometimes life is unpredictable.
Change can take you by surprise.
Having plans & goals is good… but, it is not everything.
Life is about making a series of choices.
& these choices will lead you down one path or another.
One thing I have learned, is that it is not so much about the destination but about the journey.
A wise man once told me,
“the Universe will open doors for you. But it is our responsibility to walk through them.”
To move forward.
I don’t think we should ever settle on one single destination or goal, I think we should always strive for more.
Be better than we were yesterday.
Recently, I was watching the winter Olympics.
It was downhill skiing.
I watched a woman crash during competition.
Twisting and tumbling all the way down.
When the camera zoomed in on her face afterward, you could feel her pain.
My immediate thought was,
“Wow, poor girl. She worked so hard and to mess up right before medaling. How heartbreaking.”
My immediate thought was NOT,
“Wow, she probably didn’t work hard enough the years leading up to the Olympics. What a shame. But, its her fault.”
We all mess up….
& sometimes we mess up when it really counts.
But, all we can do is take responsibility and move forward.
Keep trying. Never give up and never give in.
“Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”
Let me tell you a little bit about my academic journey…
In 2009, I graduated high school.
In 2010, I went to community college in my hometown.
In 2011-2013, I moved and went to another community college.
In 2013, I graduated with two Associates degrees.
In 2014-2015, I started at the University. & went to a Medical Training program, where I got my Phlebotomy certificate.
In 2015, I went through a serious breakup. & quit my job due to a sexual harassment issue. I found myself without a home & too embarrassed to confide in my family. I couch surfed and found refuge in my friends. I picked myself up the best I could and began working at Volunteers in Medicine and applying for jobs at hospitals.
I finally got a job as a lab tech at the local hospital. & came clean to my parents. They put me up in a very nice studio and I began to rebuild but, because of all this personal turmoil……
In 2015, I failed out of the University.
They told me I had to do two terms at a 4.0 GPA at the community college, to gain entrance back into the University.
So, I did.
In 2016, I was accepted back into the University on probation.
I had one more shot.
Later on in 2016, my Father had a heart attack.
I told the University that I would not be attending and that I was moving out of state to be with my dad. They told me if I did not attend in the Fall, the chances of me gaining re-entry again were slim.
I took my chances…
My dad needed me & family always comes first.
Even though had my dad known, he may not have agreed with these choices.
But, I am a firm believer in, “What is for me, will be for me!” If I was meant to go to the University again, I would.
God has a plan.
Later in 2016, my father made a full recovery.
So, I began the process of fighting tooth and nail to get back to school.
I wrote letters and spoke with advisers, I even spoke with a board of professors to plead my case. I told them, leaving to be with my father was not only what he needed but was what I needed too. I was refreshed and had a new outlook on life. I said that if I could return in the fall, I would be successful. No exceptions. & that they would not regret their decision to accept me back.
In 2016 to my disbelief, I was accepted back and returned to the University of Oregon. Under two conditions, I would keep my GPA above a 3.0 and I would go at least half-time.
From 2016-2018, I began two course loads.
One at the Community College to acquire all my Nursing school pre-requisites.
& one at the University to wrap up my Bachelor’s degree.
My plan of attack was strongly advised against by academic councilors because the course load was too dense and going to two separate institutions was crazy, especially with part-time work at the hospital in addition…
But I did not shy away from the challenge. I knew it would be hard, but I was ready. Ready to make something of myself.
Ready to finally put me first… and so I began.
& now finally…
In 2018, I will be graduating with a degree from the University that I am passionate about and damn proud of.
Moral of the story it took me EIGHT years to get a bachelor’s degree.
& am I going to stop here…. Not a chance!
I will be going to Nursing school in the Fall OR this following year.
Some would say “You wasted so much time.”
Or “You wasted so much money.”
& the truth is, they are right.
But this journey has made me who I am. I would never for a minute trade it in. Sure, maybe I would have done it differently. But the experience, knowledge and wisdom that I have gained is without a doubt priceless.
I nurtured my love for culture and people
& I am proud to be a student of Anthropology.
Life is hard. Things happen.
Our life course can sometimes change in the blink of an eye.
& that’s ok. But, you must keep pressing forward.
I NEVER gave up, even though it seemed as though nothing was going my way.
I didn’t always make the best choices as a young adult, I never really knew exactly what I wanted or who I wanted to be.
I was a social butterfly and my friends often took president over my goals and my education. I spun in circles for years, working VERY hard but never having it amount to much.
I always have been privileged.
My parents worked very hard in their own lives to provide for me.
They made something of themselves and they blessed me with opportunity.
A wise woman once told me,
“You have to learn to live life on your own terms.”
You can lie down for people to walk on you and they will still complain that you are not flat enough.
You can’t always make everyone happy. Friends, family, partners.
You must be happy with who you are and be content in the decisions you make. After all, you are the only one who has to live with them for the rest of your life.
You only get ONE life. You only get ONE shot to make something of yourself.
Don’t give up.
“I know my capabilities and I know my worth, but sometimes I surprise myself. I have done things that I am not proud of. And although I cannot right my wrongs, I can improve my future. I have achieved many things I never thought were possible. I am still learning to love myself. I am still learning new things about myself. And for as long as I have breath, my story remains under construction. I am a good woman, not an angel… of course, I sin too. But yet, still, with all of the setbacks, the comebacks, the rejections, and the achievements, I am proud of the woman I am becoming.”
Written February 22, 2018