First things first.

Malone_Hood_Plaza_University_of_AlabamaAs many of you know because I have mentioned it no less than seven thousand and eleven times, I’ve been in school.

Ideally I would have graduated high school and gone directly through college as so many do – partying and schlepping laundry and staying up in coffee houses. I did that for a minute, but I was restless and antsy and thought getting married was the best thing to do.

And I did. I got married and had babies. Then I got divorced. Remarried.

I found myself an adult who never understood living for myself or working toward a goal. I inhabited the work force with no forward thought. I didn’t really know what I could do for myself.

I decided to go back to school. I decided it like I decide most  things, all at once and with everything I have. campus-slideshow

I quickly found that all the time and money I’d wasted was just that – wasted. I had to start from scratch, as barely any of the credits I’d taken years before were the correct ones or in the right order.

It seemed like it would never end. Every semester I found new classes that were necessary, new layers I needed, more work to do. Twice I began a semester convinced that it would be my last only to realize a week or so later that I had miscalculated transfer credits or requirement hours.

I gave up. I gave up a lot. In registering for this semester I was greeted with warnings and alerts that my financial aid was at an end and that after this spring semester I would no longer qualify for any federal grants, which had been my life blood in funding my quest.

I was left with eighteen hours needed and one semester to take them all. My advisor told me it was unwise and that taking too many hours would increase the likelihood that I would do poorly overall. I did it anyway, I had no choice.

And now this week, it’s over.

I have always felt, in most any milestone I’ve encountered, that something was off. I always felt like I was sneaking by, getting through on technicalities.

I feel this way now, I won’t lie. I feel like in two weeks someone will say, “Oh, nevermind. You skipped that discussion question and we can’t let you graduate.” 

Maybe that won’t happen. In the meantime, though, I will just be glad that I may have succeeded in something I thought I’d missed out on. And I’m kind of proud.graduation-hats