Monday, July 7, 2008

Next Step?

I've figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I'm 43 years old and I'm finally ready to go to college and get a degree. All this time, I've known that having a degree would be a good thing, helpful to me, a good financial investment etc, etc, but I've been unwilling to spend the time and money when I realistically couldn't envision myself sticking with anything I started. But now, now I am ready. I want to get a degree in Urban Studies and create communities. I want to learn how to build buildings and all about zoning and codes and urban development policies. I want to design and make neighborhoods made up of people of all ages, abilities, backgrounds and standings. I want to build communities for people who value the Earth and want to live harmoniously with it and with each other in cities. I want to build SPICEland. For real.

The thing is though, that I'm working about 30 hours a week, Hammy's working his job and we're already just barely making it. Zed will be starting public school this year, so the older two are no longer at home during the day but Carmac is 5 and will begin homeschooling this Fall. Hammy is very concerned about the time and money that my going to school will cost. Right now, we're constantly juggling schedules and bills and the needs of 3 growing children and our marriage. How in the world can I even think of adding a full college course load to this crazy mix?

The kids all say "No!".

Hammy says, "Why not wait a year?". He wants us to spend a year digging ourselves out of debt and then enroll next Fall.

But, to me, this is an investment in our future and to think of waiting a year means a 4 year degree will take 5 years (or longer) to complete. I want to get started. And, who knows where we'll be or what will be happening in a year. His parents aren't in very good health; anything could happen with them that would prevent me taking this step. Or we have a household crisis. Or something could happen with one or another of the boy's schooling. Or something else. Or anything, everything else.

I feel I need to do this now. I'm ready. I ready to go into a classroom with a bunch of 18 year olds and study remedial math courses. I'm ready to work hard and be challenged and ask for help when I need it. I'm ready to teach my poor overworked/underused chihuahuabrain new tricks--and give it lots more to yap about.

I'm not one to wait patiently once I've made up my mind about something. I feel this is right. I feel CONVINCED that this is right. And, of course, if it's right now, it will still be right in a year. But in a year, it will be a year later and I'll still be in exactly the same place I am right now--no closer to meeting this goal.

I'd be either taking out student loans or we'd borrow against Hammy's 401k. Either way, we'll be going deeply further into debt, which freaks Hammy out. He's having difficulty seeing this as an investment. I think he's afraid this is a whim, although he's been too polite to actually say that. I think he's afraid I'll incur huge debt and won't follow through. I don't know how to get him to understand that I've never been willing to commit to college before because I wasn't ready but NOW I AM. He's afraid. I'm afraid. We're just reacting to what we know.

So, I'm holding this in the Light and believing that God will lead me where I'm supposed to go. It's hard, though, to get my ego out of the way, my desires and hopes and very strong will. It's hard, too, to balance what may be a leading with Hammy's needs. I respect him and don't want to bulldoze (as has so often been the case in so many instances in our marriage). I want to know that what I'm doing, either enrolling or not, is what I'm supposed to be doing; what's best or right.

I'm going to try to slow down while still taking steps toward enrolling. In rereading what I've just written, I see that I need to talk/think/plan less and listen more.

I welcome your insight.