At seventeen, my mother suggested life would be better for me if I lived on my own. I was not quite done high school, but had a good job working nights at a Chinese restaurant. Eventually, my new roommates got jobs at the restaurant also, and the three of us juggled working, going to school, and partying. I was only the one who also had a car, so I was a little more restricted money-wise.
I had a hard time staying focused at University, trying to deal with unresolved issues related to home, and my heavy work schedule. My boyfriend had practically moved in and we were talking marriage. I dropped out after year one.
It would take me five years to re-enroll in school, and by then I was having babies and working alongside my children’s father, so I opted for part-time studies. It took me another five years to complete a three year B.A. Then I applied for teacher’s college, only to discover I was pregnant again, and due in September.
I shelved the dream.
Life lead me elsewhere. At the age of forty, divorced, I opened a bookstore with a friend. Three years later, I acquired another one, and within six months lost them both. I was forty-four, not ready to retire, but also not willing to go backwards and pursue the career I had left behind.
“What have you always wanted to do, but haven’t tried yet?” The man in my life asked.
“Teach.” The answer was easy, but in my mind the possibility was out of reach. “I don’t have enough qualifications.”
“How do you know?”
“I just do. I only have a three year B.A. and my marks aren’t competitive.”
“How much does it cost to apply?”
“One hundred and twenty-five dollars.”
“For one hundred and twenty-five dollars, why don’t you let them reject you, instead of rejecting yourself.”
Sometimes you just need another perspective. He was right, how would I know, unless I tried?
Eight years later, I am teaching. Oh, and I married that man. Anyone with that much common sense is a keeper!