“Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean.”
– Christopher Reeve
In 2003, I turned fifty years young. Seeing that age was absolutely a wake-up call that put me and keeps me in a state of gratitude at all times, no matter what.
My work career was beginning to shift and this milestone more than ever put me into “search mode” to find my purpose in life.
I reflected on the fact that my mother passed away at the age of 59, totally unexpectedly, and the thought of that got my attention big time. When she died, I shared that I would never retire from a “job” but would do what I loved until I died.
Being reared by illiterate grandparents who instilled the foundation in me to be the best in all you do, to never judge or think badly about others, and to reach for the stars was phenomenal. If it were left up to Granny, I would have started kindergarten and gone nonstop straight to earning a PhD. It didn’t happen that way, but it may happen yet.
Life sent me back to school after being out of that scene for twenty-three years. I had lost my job for the third time in my work career and it was something about that third job loss that led me back to school. This was by far one of the hardest things I had done in my adult life. There were times when I questioned my sanity, but what helped me were words of encouragement from classmates a semester ahead of me. I remember the statement from a high school classmate and friend: “If it were easy, don’t you think everyone would have a graduate degree?” I committed to the process and graduated two years later.
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