I know people just do not “get” me at times.  Many wonder why I am still single all these years after being divorced (it’s coming up on nine years I have been single after marriage #2 failed).  Many do not understand why I am going to graduate school, hopefully in the fall.  Part of this can be explained by what is on my mother and brother’s shared tombstone “They Marched to the Beat of a Different Drummer.” They both did – neither of them were followers or even leaders – they were content to do what they wanted, without worrying about what people thought of them.

I know I am the same way.  Mom tried to encourage me way back in high school to be more of a follower as opposed to being a “unique individual.”  I didn’t do it then, and doubt I do it now, at my age.

But I have discussed this “single thing” until I am blue in my face.  So, we are going to discuss the grad school thing now.  Yes, it is going to be difficult, shuffling schedules with my classes and my teenager’s dance practices and games.  Considering I am still going to be working full-time (good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise!), it is definitely going to be challenging.  But, I have great friends who can help when I need them, and I have a great daughter who will adapt to the couple of nights a week that I am going to be sitting in a classroom.

Why, though?  Why add the stress?  Why not just take the Bachelor’s Degree with honors and call it done?  First, I cannot do what I want with my BA.  I want to teach, preferably at an institute of higher education – and I *can* teach at a 2-year school with a Master’s Degree…while I work on getting my Ph.D. to teach at University.

Second, I have set myself a goal, and if I just give up, I honestly will not be able to look myself in the eye.  Nothing in life worth having is easy – childbirth bears this theory out.  I enjoy learning, I truly do.  I feel alive in a classroom, whether it is an online classroom or an actual classroom.

Third, my daughters.  If I just give up before I even try, how can I expect them to look me in the eye?  How can I expect them to ever finish what they start, or at the very least to pursue their dreams and goals?  Plus, my teenager will be graduating in the not so very far future, and I would like to have my higher degrees to teach at least part-time.  That will be “downtime” for me.  And since she is a teenager, then truthfully, I need something to fill my time when she is with her friends, too.  (I do enjoy hanging with my friends, but our schedules are so crazy, it’s not always possible at the last minute to get together).

So, I know some people do not get it.  I am driven – I honestly do not understand where that necessarily comes from, I just know that I want this degree, and I want to keep going.  I truly do not believe it is a negative, but some people do.  Some people think I should just skip it and “relax.” Actually, my two best friends said, “But you THRIVE on stress, you love school, and the headaches that come with it.” (Said by two different people at different times, there you go!)  I am NOT trying to prove myself to anyone except myself.  The only time I took classes to “prove myself,” was when a former work colleague told me I could not carry a full load and work full time.  I did it every semester, including summer terms until I graduated, even carrying 19 during one semester.

It’s me. I have so much more mind to improve, and I really do not care who gets their panties in a wad while I do it.  How can it possibly be wrong, trying to improve myself and thereby, improving my daughters’ lives?  I do know this, these people who are so critical should maybe look at improving their own lives before criticizing mine and my choices.  People in glass houses and all that rot!

Enough ranting for one day….I have a grad school application to look at again.

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