Thursday, April 19, 2012

Back to School - Part 1

It has been over a month since my last blog post, so I am happy to be back here, writing. The last month has been a busy one, especially with school, but things are winding down for this term and soon I will be taking off to Mexico for a break before my summer term begins. One more year of school and I will be done! I hope to come back from Mexico rested and inspired and overflowing with posts for my Mexico blog.

The path to continue my education has been a long, winding one. Definitely not a straight line. It began about eight years ago, when a friend encouraged me to take an "Academic Bridging Program" at the University of Toronto - an amazing course that introduced me to the world of university and one that I can't speak highly enough about. It was at that course I learned how to craft a proper essay, as it was hammered into our heads at every class until we knew it (and an invaluable tool I have used over and over in subsequent courses). I was terrified at the thought of that course, but it proved to be the beginning of what would be many more years of learning. I'm no longer terrified.

For about six years following that first course, I took one course per term. My challenge as a single parent was that I wanted to study communications, but I needed to do it through distance learning. Because of the parenting schedule I share with my daughter's father, I don't have a consistent free night each week, so online learning was my only option. Plus, I had a full-time job, so attending classes during the day was out of the question. I finally found a different university that could somewhat accommodate my needs - I could pursue a general degree through distance education. I figured that eventually the university might start offering more communications courses online, and I would be able to obtain a communications degree after all. All in all, it would take me about 10 years - I would be nearly 50 years old.

I will stop my story here and continue with a second part soon - there is much more to this story I'd like to share. I know there are people who consider continuing their education, but because of obstacles - very real obstacles, give up on their dream. I am hoping my story will inspire you to pursue it anyway, if it is something you want to do.

Don't confuse what you want to do with what you think is possible.

There are usually more options than what we first think there are. The first step is deciding what you want, and holding on to that thought - feeling it and believing it. Don't dismiss what you want because you can't immediately see a way to accomplish it. That will come later. I can't really explain it scientifically, but life has a way of bringing us what we want when we focus on it and muster up enough faith to believe it will happen. It doesn't always happen on our timetable, or in the way we imagine. That's the fascinating part. Don't become attached to how it will happen, just focus on it happening. Start with knowing what you want and believing.

To be continued..

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