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At the tender unripened age of  17 I started college and at 30 I can finally say I am a college graduate. I had an entirely different article in mind for this month’s publication, but I felt I deserved a minute to just enjoy my accomplishment. To be honest , the best part isn’t holding the diploma in my hand. The most rewarding part is not that I found the faith, courage, and strength to push through 5,022 obstacles , it’s not that I have my weekends back for leisure activities, it was the teary eyed look on my eight year olds face as he gave me the tightest hug ever and said to me “I’m proud of you mom good job”. I am sure that somewhere in the back of his mind he was happy he wouldn’t be tripping over my school study materials any longer or that he wouldn’t find me asleep on the computer keyboard, but my educational journey just like my accomplishments are not over.

I share this with all of you because I know firsthand that the road winds into a dark place far outside the reach of hopes light and we can easily be discouraged. It will not be easy! I am not of the sugar coating variety, so I am going to tell you it is going to be hard as hell! Ahead of you are late nights, homework and finals on family vacations even complaining from your kids and the wishing it was all over but the reward far outweighs all of that.

Yes, I could have finished college all those years ago, but to be honest now that I know what the accomplishment feels like I don’t think it would have been as fulfilling back then. Although, it is a very sweet moment, take the easier route and do it before starting families and careers, this allows you to enjoy each moment and accomplishment in its single glory, this is for the younger readers.

For those of you who chose family over education, like I did and are older DO IT! It is not too late, DO IT, DO IT, DO IT and be proud. DO IT for your kids, for yourself, for your future. Unless you are dead today there is always a future.

My main reason for going back to school was to be able to tell my son that he would have to give it a try. I remember growing up and my parents giving me advice that they didn’t take heed to, in my young adolescent mind all I could think of was “but you didn’t”. When you become a parent you know that advice for the most part is cautionary, there is no concrete guide to being an individual, to parenting and to knowing what will work out in the end and what won’t. I did, however, find it necessary in my position, that my assertion to tell him to try college would come from experience and gratification, and not regret.

Regretful decisions to me seem to put pressure on our kids.  Our regrets become their stressors and it just isn’t fair, but I get it we want to protect our children from the very things that swallowed us up, so now it is our responsibility to be accountable and to continue to pave the way through examples instead of just words of instruction. This way we can avoid the “but you didn’t” pitfall.

I am going to enjoy this moment until my next paper , (due Monday) lol.

Kita” I Just tossed my tassle aside” Small