. . . able to quit my job and be a full-time college student again.
Now, I doubt I’m pining for what you think I’m pining for.
Midway through my freshman year in college, the first love of my life died in a motorcycle accident. I managed to stay in college another year before I realized I just couldn’t finish that just then in my life. So I quit, became a baby nurse, and then a nanny, and after that, my life went another way. The first part of my college “career” was pretty much the same as high school – cliques and not really feeling like I fit in – but with alcohol. The second part is a blur, as I sleep-walked (is that a word?) through my life mostly (but not entirely – I’ve forgotten my roommate’s name, but will never forget the night she came into my room to find me crying in a heap on the floor, picked me up and held me until I stopped and when I finished, left the room, closing the door behind her – all without saying a single word) alone because people assumed at 17 years old I couldn’t possibly have loved my man as much as I did or been as affected by losing him as I actually was. The truth is, his death changed the entire course of my life.
So, no, I’m not just wanting to throw off my adult responsibility to go back to some (for me, imagined) free time with no real responsibilities.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve taken the odd college class here and there – two online and one live and in person at a local community college.
I miss being able to focus on something (with a goal – somehow wandering around on the net isn’t quite as satisfying to me in the same way) that is so unlike my real life. I’ll admit it, I’m bored with my work. It requires a specialized knowledge base, and technology is infiltrating it too which is interesting for me to watch (being a bit of a tech geek), but I’ve been doing it for 14 years now (with a stint of something else tucked into the middle here and there). In that time, any intrinsic pleasure I’ve gotten from it has long since faded away.
I will say that if I have to work, I’ve landed at a pretty great place to do it, so I am grateful for my employment, managers and colleagues. It’s still not the same as wanting to come to work every day for the work itself.
I realize I’m making choices here, and I stand by them; that doesn’t mean I don’t wish some things were different.
Between a mortgage that’s upside down, a year or so of un/under-employment that ended about a year ago but we’re still digging out from, and being in primary breast cancer treatment which my budget did not have room to accommodate four months ago when I was diagnosed and still doesn’t have room for, I doubt (unless I win a big lottery) that my ‘wish’ will ever come true.
I was 38 years old when I bought my first house and survived keeping it despite Hubby having an accident 3 months (yes, not a typo) after moving in, breaking his back and having his own year-long healing hurdle to overcome, and despite being un/under-employed for a year quite recently.
When I was looking for work that would financially replace what had been lost, Hubby (last love of my life) wanted, more than anything, for me to find work that would make me happy. He explicitly told me that he would be willing to change our housing situation to meet that goal, for which (among other reasons) I will love him always – but I wasn’t – I’d worked too hard to get it and keep it through one hardship already, so this is the choice I’ve made, and some days it’s harder to remember why I made it than others. I do the best I can at this, and lots of other things, every day.
Bottom line – I wish I were able to quit my job to go be a full-time student, have that intellectual excitement and stimulation again and finish my degree . . . but not enough to give up my house.
I’ll have to keep looking for ways within the structure of my current life, or find something else I’m willing to change, to get that need met.
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