During this time of year Alabama is absolutely gorgeous. With the warmth of the sun on my face, the cool breeze blowing and a gorgeous view, I realize a dream is coming true. Here I am sitting on this grand balcony overlooking the campus of Auburn University. People buzzing around everywhere and the landscape of azaleas is breathtaking. I’m in college. It’s simply incredible sitting here among all the other lovers of learning. I thought I couldn’t do it.
I remember after the birth of my second child, I desperately wanted to attend school but the reality looked grim. So was I surprised when the conversation didn’t go very well? No. But nothing could have hurt more than being told, “You’re not smart enough.” Words can cut to the core of a person and my heart broke into a million pieces. Unfortunately, a horrible untruth would creep in my head and already fragile soul. Was he right? Would I fail? It would be almost twenty years before I really knew the answer to those haunting questions.
God even gave me a true gift trying to convince me of the truth, yet my mind was numb. An opportunity to learn ultrasound came my way and with the support of great colleagues and physicians, I learned a skill that has truly blessed me for many years. So why did I still feel dumb? It’s because your husband’s job is to build you up not tear you down. I guess that’s one reason after eighteen years we divorced. The damage ran deep.
In 2009, I married a thoughtful, kind and caring man. I can remember the conversation vividly when Emory asked, “What are your dreams?” I told him of my wish to get a college education but still felt like I couldn’t do it. Of course after explaining my reasons behind my thoughts he said, “Quit work and go for it anyway. You won’t ever know if you don’t try.!” After a few months of mental war with myself, I am happy to say I enrolled in fall of 2010.
Fast forward and picture me today sitting on this balcony taking it all in. Trust me when I say, my college experience means a great deal to me. Do I see myself the same way as I did a few years ago? Not in the least because with so much love and support from family, I now live a life of freedom. I also am happy to say that I have a 3.5 GPA and will be graduating in the spring of 2013. A valuable lesson from this experience has been that while getting a college education increases your knowledge, it doesn’t necessarily have to make you smart. I already knew the answers to my haunting questions. I just needed to believe in myself. I am finally grateful I can see the truth.
Oh by the way, can anyone guess who will receive an invitation to my graduation?