Have you ever heard the saying If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans? I’ve lately found myself looking back on situations and relationships and seeing how wrong I was about the plans I made in them. How I thought I had it all figured out and how much better things have turned out for me instead. In some situations I’m still figuring it out, still trying to process what the path is that I’m currently on.
Tomorrow I go back to school for the first time since last year. I skipped the last semester for a couple of reasons.
- I had an issue with financial aid. My aid forms were in my maiden name but my school forms were in my married name. I had physically went to the school and provided proof of marriage and had this fixed a long time ago but apparently a step was missed or someone was not informed. This caused my financial aid to be put on hold meaning I could not sign up for classes until this was fixed.
- I had a miscarriage. I was dealing with the excitement of being pregnant and then the heartbreak of losing a baby during my entire last semester. Physically and mentally I was not prepared to go back to school right away.
- I switched jobs. I just started at my job in February and I wasn’t sure what my new schedule and position would mean for my class schedule. Given I was taking weekend classes before, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen going forward.
- I hated my classes. Not all of them and maybe hate is a strong word but I was so bored and pretty much phoning it in. Because I worked in the field and these were all first level accounting classes it was pretty easy for me to skate by. My last two classes I passed even though I didn’t take the final.
The last reason was something I realized after everything else. I was not in a hurry to get back to school because I was not studying anything particularly interesting. I was an Accounting major and while the work was challenging, it was not fulfilling. I didn’t care. I honestly picked this major because I was already doing work in the accounting field and work experience plus a degree meant more money. Plus the degree program offered weekend classes so it was really convenient. I had it all planned out. Graduate by 30, get my CPA by 32 and by 35 I’d be making 6 figures at the very least. Losing our child put it into perspective for me. Why was I killing myself to perform in a field I don’t like. Was I going to have this child just so they could see me come home unhappy everyday? What kind of example does that set?
Together with my husband we sat and formulated a new, more flexible plan. I would switch majors to English, a subject I really enjoy and am excited about. With my new job I can take weekday classes which means I don’t have to give up my weekends and I could still spend time with my family. I don’t know what I will do with this degree but that is beside the point. I will be studying what I love and see what happens with the rest. We are fortunate that my husband and I do have jobs and are ok right now so I’m not going to focus on the earning potential of it. And as for a timetable? There is none! I’ll finish when I finish. Realistically if I had a baby I’ll need to take time off and that just has to be ok.
You see, when I had this thoroughly crafted to-do list of a plan I thought it would be enough for me to just click off the boxes. I was going for a career that made a bunch of money because I thought that was expected of me. Don’t get me wrong it would be nice if I could make a bunch of money and I still hope one day I will. The path to that has to change though. Even before I started pursuing an Accounting degree and accountant friend of ours said to me “don’t do it. you’ll hate it! I know, I do” and I took it with a grain of salt. Easy for him to say with a six figure salary, but looking back that was real advice I should’ve taken.
God teaches us these lessons sometimes in spoonfuls. I needed to see that I could thrive in the accounting program if I wanted to (I was getting pretty good grades) but I also needed to see it wouldn’t make me happy in the future. We’ve all been in situations where there is one person not having a good time in a room full of happy people. That person always brings down the vibe of the whole group. I don’t want to be that person in my life. The person who comes home every day and is miserable. I don’t want that for my children or my husband.
So this is step 1 to a list with I don’t know how many steps. With God’s guidance I will reclaim my life, passion, and happiness.