I was 17 when I graduated high school and had not one plan. My Dad, the Navy man turned career Fire Marshall did what any man who was raised by the military would do…he took me to the Naval Recruiting Office with a promise that I could “probably” be a USO comic. There was NO WAY I was listening, giving them my name or anything in fear that my folks would allow them to come rip me from my Holly Hobby bed and drag me to the Navy where they would yell me out of bed, make me belly crawl under barbed wire to a breakfast of mud and powdered milk and go for a 16 hour jog. I sweetly told the Recruiter that I would certainly consider his lovely offer, faked my social security number and got the hell out of there and drove as fast as I could to the Community College.
At the Community College I wasted many semesters and dollars signing up for random-ass classes and withdrawing or failing because I spent most of the hour in class making plans for Friday night with the other 2 townies that were left behind when everyone else went to real college. I swear to Joseph when Kirk Cameron put out that “Left Behind” movie that I was gonna be an extra in it.
I always worked 2 jobs and enjoyed being a Recreation Therapist in Long Term Care facilities and later became a consultant and parlayed that into helping a major firm merge to another chain. I spent more than a dozen years selling Real Estate and being a Home Health Rep. I have had a nice career but I always wished I had finished school. Signing up for classes in my twenties made me feel the same way it does when I rejoin Weight Watchers for the gabillionth time.
Something happened when we moved, in 2006, to Hickory, NC from central Florida (my lifetime home). I was renewed by the place and the people. I decided to go back and finish just in time to move back home. It took me 23 years to grasp algebra but I did, and all of a sudden I got it! I was a straight A student ! I received my A.S. degree in 2008 and set about working 2 jobs, raising young boys and going to the University. I have not taken a break, I have made A’s and I have paid for it with Real Estate commissions and painting furniture. Lots and lots of furniture. You could say that my Shabby Chic Addiction was my scholarship. I am grateful that I learned how to learn, I am glad for the abundant experience and I am proud to have set this example for my (now high school aged) sons.
So, if you see me at the Piggly Wiggly next month and I am still wearing my cap and gown, it’s because it took me 28 years to get it…that, and because I am insane.
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