A Wasted Life

I learned this week that my adult life has been a waste. This was news to me and also a shock to learn that this person whom I thought loved and respected me didn’t. This family friend told one of my kids that what I have done as an adult and a parent was a waste of time and doesn’t mean anything. And I don’t quite know what to think about that.

It’s not true, of course, but there is an element of truth to it. There were wasteful portions of my life that I wish hadn’t occurred. I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time on church and a nonexistent deity. But the rest of my life during that period was full, busy, and fun, and I was engaged in every part of it. We raised six kids and I homeschooled four of them. We explored and played and lived our lives together every day. I don’t regret the time I spent raising my children.

Do I have any regrets? Absolutely. I regret allowing myself to become brainwashed by the church. It poisoned so much of my natural mothering and feminine instincts. I also regret not finishing school when I was younger or pursuing my career. Beginning just a month ago, I restarted my educational pursuit for the fifth time. The thing that I am hardest on myself about is my education. I was capable in school but I lacked support. Once I grew up, I discovered I am an outstanding student, but keeping myself focused on the goal ahead is tough. Really tough. Especially when my church friends were acting as if I had failed my children by taking night classes. So rather than failing them I failed myself. Repeatedly.

Fear of failure is superseded only by fear of success. In this case, I am my own worst enemy. The trail seemed so clear to me when that fear kicked in.

Classes > degree > career > daycare raises kids > kids grow up to hate me.

Was this reasonable? Of course not. But in my head, it sounded right so I went back to what I knew and pushed dreams of a college degree away for a few more years. Looking back now, I don’t know if I was ready. I am ready now, but back then, readiness and success would only have happened with a good mentor and I didn’t have one, so while I took the safe path, I was nowhere near ready for the challenging one at that time.

I went to community college in California in 1991 for one quarter. I took another quarter here in 2005, and then another in 2007. After that, I decided I should just wait until the kids were older and then see if I still wanted to pursue and degree. I even looked into it a few times when the boys were teenagers, considering picking up some evening classes again but I didn’t do it. It wasn’t until the pandemic happened that I decided I wanted to try again. I enrolled in 2020 and continued through 2021. I completed five quarters this time.

I know that I shouldn’t allow someone’s comments to affect my outlook or to affect me personally, and I am choosing to disregard someone who doesn’t respect me as a person. My degree goals have changed, but my desire to complete my Bachelor’s has not. In two years, if all goes according to plan, I will have my Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration. I have taken a long road to get here, and it really has been like wandering through a maze at times, but I’m here now. I’m doing this.

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