Hi! Remember me? I’ve just been a tad MIA for a month or so…
If you don’t already know, I’m back in school full-time which means if I’m not in class, I’m studying for class. And if I’m not doing either of those things, I’m probably working or sleeping. Adjusting to this new schedule has left me barely any time at all to post here. (Or to see friends, or to work out, or to binge-watch shows on Netflix… *crying*)
So, whyyyy am I back in school? Well, because I never quite got around to graduating my first time around. When I was a Freshman in college, I was still living at home with my parents and attending a university near their house and hated every minute of it. I hated it so much that I just straight up stopped attending one of my classes, not realizing that having an “F” on my transcript would make me look like a complete dumb-ass. (Oh, I also didn’t realize that I’d have to pay for that class out of pocket for the next six months as a poor 18-year-old dumb-ass.) I still remember my mom yelling at me from the backyard as I stood in my bedroom, peering down at her through the window after I told her the reason I got an F was because I stopped going to the class. Mama bear was not pleased.
So, Sophomore year, I wanted to redeem myself. I wanted to try again. I switched universities, moved to Milwaukee, got an apartment with my best friend, and just as school was about to start, my grandpa died, and then my cousin died, and everything went to shit all over again. I was sad, broke, confused, and back in the “I don’t care” mindset my punk 18-year-old-self was in the year before. I tried, but mentally I was somewhere else and I just couldn’t focus. I made it through that year, though, and after the spring semester, I decided I needed some time off. I was broke, so I started working more, and when I wasn’t working, I was obsessing over my Etsy store. I had moved out of my first apartment and into my own 1br for the first time and felt relieved that I wasn’t being forced to re-enroll in school that fall.
I did a lot of moving around after that. I loved Milwaukee, but I eventually went back to Racine (where I’m from) for reasons I’m still not quite sure of. Not being in school didn’t really bother me until all of my friends started graduating without me. I think that’s when it really hit me that maybe I screwed up.
A year or so later, I moved to Madison because I thought maybe a traditional university wasn’t for me and decided I’d give vet school a try. (Spoiler: That never happened.) Within that confusing period of time, I broke up with my boyfriend of six years, left Madison, and moved to Washington, DC (mainly to get away from him and the decisions I was making). While in DC, I met a new guy, and after a year and a half, thought I was going to move yet again, this time to the Middle East with said new guy because he was offered a job he couldn’t pass up. (Spoiler: That never happened, either. )
I left DC, returned to Wisconsin once more and moved in with a friend who so generously let me stay with her rent free until I was able to get back on my feet. I didn’t have a job, a car, or any money to speak of, so that proved to be a very difficult task. For nine months, I struggled, but my friends are the best, and I was able to pull through. School was the last thing on my mind at that point, but when my brother and cousin suggested moving to Seattle together, I started researching and thought maybe it could work. Maybe I could try school all over again with a fresh slate, away from everything and everyone I knew back home. So, we packed up a U-Haul and made it happen.
Time flies, things are happy and then sad and frustrating and strange, but in the end, everything always seems to work out for the best anyway and sometimes things fall into place where they’re meant to and life makes sense all over again.
That’s how I feel these days anyway. When I think about how my life could have potentially panned out a few years ago, it’s hard not to laugh. I made the decision to come to Seattle to start over, and I was lucky enough to succeed. I’ve met an amazing group of people here who have completely changed me for the better. I finally feel like I belong here and that I’m at my best. I feel so good and I love my life. Adam has been such a gift and I can’t imagine a life without him.
He has helped me become the version of myself I always knew I wanted to be but was too distracted or too lazy to become. Because of Adam’s love and support, I’m now enrolled in school full-time (I even have my Associate’s Degree now. Yay!) and set to graduate with my Bachelor’s in Linguistics in about a year and a half.
While it definitely feels good to be making this progress, I won’t lie and say it’s been easy. I’m attending a very Christian, private university (because it was one of the only colleges near us that had a Linguistics program) and sometimes I feel I stick out like a sore thumb. (Not only because I’m not religious at all, but because I’m a 27-year-old undergrad.) I’m as old or even older than some of the grad students in some of my classes, and one of the best school friends I’ve made so far is only 19 years old. It’s weird. I’m surrounded by young adults (though they’re kids in my mind) who have never held a job, been in a relationship, or fully lived on their own a day in their lives. I feel like an outsider some days, but something I’ve picked up on thus far is how very genuine the students and professors are there. I’ve only been enrolled for less than a quarter, and I feel like my professors already know me well and really want me to succeed. My first day of class, I was nervous and feeling all the butterflies, but when I found my way to a desk and sat down, the girl in front of me turned around and immediately introduced herself. It was crazy! That has never happened to me at any of the (many) colleges I’ve attended in the past. There’s this awesome feeling of togetherness there, and who knows, maybe attending a religious college will turn out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Ha! Life works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it? Cheers to that.
I’m learning that everyone’s path through life is unique, and no two stories are the same. Instead of feeling down about my choices and how long it’s taken me to get here, I have to take a step back and applaud my efforts of facing my fears and finally allowing myself to get back to that place I felt I lost so long ago. I’m so fortunate. One day at a time…
“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.” – Sylvia Plath