Life changes on a dime. We are often faced with choices that we don’t always like or want to make.
A Young Girl’s Story
Imagine being a young, mostly good looking teenage girl going to high school. She worked hard to be a good girl, make good grades in school and did what she was told. Prior to being of legal age to get a job, she often worked taking care of children. As soon as she was of legal age to get a job, she did. Because of her unsettling life experiences, it was important to her to do things “the right way”. She wanted to create a life different than the one she knew. Her plan was to finish high school, go to college, get a good job, perhaps get married and maybe have children of her own. After all, that would finally give her a peaceful and happy life, she thought.
As was customary in her life, plans changed on a dime. Again! She met a boy and the next thing she knew, she became pregnant before the end of her junior year of high school.
Reflections of a Teenage Mother
Not sure how or what she would do, she chose to keep her baby and do the best she could. She didn’t know how things would work, but she knew finishing high school was a big part of her mission.
“Girls “like her” were not allowed to attend the regular high school.
She chose to enter an off campus program so her education would go uninterrupted. She wanted to finish school as quickly as possible so she could get a better job.
She took a full load of classes during her senior year, so she could graduate mid-term, get a good job and not return to the high school. In December she went through labor and delivery, then went back to school with the baby and finished all her classes in January. When May arrived, she attended the graduation ceremony with her graduating class and her baby. One of her first teachable moments as a mom.
Education Through Choices
As a young mom, she tried her best to take care of her baby, work a full-time job and carry college courses. It just wasn’t working. Something had to go and she had another choice to make. She needed to take care of her baby and she needed her job to help her do that. The only choice she could find was leaving school. After only finishing 12 college hours, she made the choice to quit.
After many more traumas and many more choices, she did her best to teach her child about the importance of education. Several years passed and that little baby had grown into a fine young woman who was ready to attend college. She made the choice to enroll, too. While they didn’t attend the same program or the same classes, they, once again, attend school together.
Education is Life Long Learning
That young high school girl at the beginning of this story is me. The moment I made the choice to quit college, I had a yearning to return to school. I couldn’t shake the feeling no matter how hard I tried. As I reflect on the importance of education, I am proud of my accomplishments.
I earned my high school diploma at 17, while also giving birth. At 38, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies, while raising children and going through serious life storms. Earning a Master’s degree in Human Relations Counseling, while working in an unrelated field, happened when I was 44. At 51, I earned a diploma as a Mind-Body Wellness Practitioner, with several certifications during the middle of one of a Spiritual Awakening. At 52, I am happily working with clients as I bridge the gap between Traditional Counseling and Holistic Healing. It has been a life mission to learn everything I can and teach from the stories of my life.
Education – ” When You Know Better, You Do Better “
During every phase of my life, there were obstacles, tragedies, traumas, and more, but you just keep going. One of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou is “When You Know Better, You Do Better”.
Education comes disguised in many forms. When we start out in life, we are fresh and new with very little insight into what we will value or how our lives will change. We are molded and shaped by our experiences and circumstances. Those same help us determine our belief systems and our paths. In the moment, we can never fully understand how important our decisions will be in the future.
My life may not have turned out “the right way” as I had hoped, but I have lived my life doing my very best “to know better, so I could do better”. Education is not only important to me, it is vital. My purpose on this Earth is to teach others how to heal from the stories of my life.
Above everything else, the fire inside me is to teach my children that no matter what, I will keep learning better and keep doing better.