This is my final blog post that is done solely fro the reason I will be graded on it. It’s a bittersweet moment. When this quarter started, overwhelmed would have been a kind description of my nattered and torn psyche.
Since then, I’ve found bits of my brain while still searching for the main engine room, had my thyroid meds changed, had my son in more trouble than I want to think about, and met a group of new friends that make me feel safe outside of school, and made a few from class who hoed this row with me in my difficult classes.
Is it worth it? Was it worth the loss of time on my own writing, my art, my sewing…MY FAMILY? Short term, part of me feels that the answer is no. I was late returning edits on a book for a publisher that was all but proofread when the quarter started, didn’t finish a single painting, was exhausted beyond belief, have had to deal with the regression of my 7 yo Down Syndrome child whom is still struggling with the concept that I am okay, even if he can’t see me, a husband who is working full time PLUS so he can provide and trying to meet his needs, and I’ve had to deal with crippling uncertainty as I’ve come to grips with my new learning levels.
However, I’m not generally one stuck on the shortsightedness of the here and now. My pragmatic side kicks in, turning dark thoughts to ones of hope. Is it worth getting my general AA? Yes. Many of these credits are artistic in nature, some writing, and others, general knowledge that will help me write what I need to sell my art and writing. Also, I finished something.
I started this journey around fifteen years ago, when my son was a baby. I’ve had cancer, babies (unexpected), moved many times, lost a home, job, a brother to a senseless accident I still can’t believe resulted in death. I had to beg for reinstatement of financial aid as my health deteriorated before they found that the goiter was cancerous. I had to deal with the fact I was just plain too fucking tired to do more than see that there was grass, but not even look at what color the Jones’ grass was, because dammit, I couldn’t even walk on mine.
Amidst it all, I had to deal with my mother’s voice in my ear telling me I was incapable of finishing anything. I’ve had up to 13 books published through publishers (I’ve seen pulled them, and re-released a few) of all different lengths and styles. Yet, that naysaying of my ability to finish is all I heard IN MY HEAD because I hadn’t finished my AA. Like a black cloud of turbulent winds following me around, it eroded my confidence in myself. Every time I filled out a dreaded application, the empty box of finished degree that I could not check glowed the like neon lights, accusing me of not being good enough. I was always over qualified or underqualified. Although that’ll still be true, at least I have an AA and experience (which will sometimes equate to a BA), and I FUCKING FINISHED IT.
This quarter has been full of introspection for me because of the short term costs for my family and I. However, at the end of it, I’ve grown stronger. I believe that me finishing has been a good example to my kids. Eventually, as Isaac gets older, I’ll do a quarter at a time to get my MFA. In the meantime, I finished. Today is the last day of classes, and even if I bomb the finals (which to me means getting less than a B), I have enough credit to pass my classes.
I made it.