In six months, I will celebrate my 40th birthday and as I grow older, there are things that I begin to know for certain. At the top of my list is the fact that it’s never too late to further your education. As you, dear reader, peruse this blog post, I will be graduating in the Fall Commencement at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. A journey that I started on four years ago will finally be reaching its destination.
As I have written about in previous blog posts, my life has been a rollercoaster journey of bad decisions. I trudged through my teens and early 20s in a fog of low self-esteem and insecurity. There was always a running monologue in my mind of why I just wasn’t good enough. Despite being a single mother to two children, I bounced from one low paying job to the next and was never sure of exactly where I would end up.
But then, five years ago, something miraculous occurred: my life completely and utterly fell apart and I was forced to rebuild from almost scratch. I can attest that hitting the utter rockiest of bottoms can be a lifesaving event. Somewhere in that process, I began to make valuable changes to how I thought of myself.
Then, almost on a whim, I decided to return to college in the fall of 2008. My previous attempt to obtain a higher education had ended poorly over a decade prior but I knew that this time I was ready. I like to joke that my life has been a series of halfhearted attempts where I rarely finish what I start. I knew (hoped!) that this time would different.
This is not to say that, over the past four years, there were many times that I wanted to give up. As I worked full time, went to school full time and tried to be a good mother, there were always things that ended up being neglected. If not for my mother, who made sure that my boys were well cared for and my fiancé, who made sure that I was well cared for, I might not be receiving my Bachelor degree today.
The other thing that I now know to be certain is that educating yourself, especially as a woman, is one of the greatest benefits that you can give to your self-esteem.
My education has, without a doubt, enhanced my ability to take care of myself and my family. It has also given me insight and intelligence into subjects on which I was previously clueless. All of these factors have done more for my self-worth than I ever dreamed possible.
Most importantly, I finished something. And finished outstandingly well as I will walk across the stage today with Cum Laude honors. Regardless of your age, your situation or your economic status, it is never too late to educate and empower yourself.
The running dialogue in my mind has been replaced with much more positive affirmations. What I know for certain today is this: I am smart, I am capable and I am absolutely good enough.
What changes have you made to better yourself and your life? Have you made the decision to further your education?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog from Margie Bryant, recent college graduate!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/willfolsom/ photographed the image used in this post. It holds a Flckr Creative Commons attribution license.