sunflowery's Diaryland Diary


I Made a Decision

I've made a decision. When contemplating a move back to my home state and town, I remembered why I moved here in the first place. It was Spring of 1998 and I had JUST gotten my AA from the local tech school. I was accepted to a private liberal arts school in the Twin Cities and I moved here to complete my degree. But I needed a job and the job I got became super inflexible making it impossible for me to go to school. Then I got another job that required me to be in Amsterdam for a time. Then I met Bob and got married and...well, you know the rest. So, I'm thinking about all of this and wondering if I can return to my former homeland without the completed degree procured.

So I thought about it. And thought some more. I called the University of Wisconsin to see if they had an adult degree completion program. Turns out they don't. And there are surprisingly few higher education opportunities in that area, unless you want a business, technology or radio/TV degree. And I don't.

So, I spent most of yesterday afternoon and today online, looking up schools in my area that have adult degree completion programs. Guess what? There are LOTS! I even got a packet in the mail today from the school I will most likely end up going to. They have my major (Communications) in an accelerated program where I would attend 1 night class a week for 22-34 weeks until I graduate with the coveted BA! Woot!

I filled out the application, including essay questions and financial aid paperwork. I went online to the FAFSA website and applied for a pin so I could apply for federal financial aid. My work has a tuition reimbursement program, so Bob and I figure we can get the financial aid and once I complete a class, I will submit it to my work, have them pay it and then we can take that money and pay the financial aid people right away.

I also spent a lot of time on a website called FastWeb. They have you fill out a lot of info about who you are, schools you attended and what you want to do and then they send you a customized list of scholarships available to you. My list was about 40 scholarships long. I read through about 8 before I realized I have to send in my college application and get accepted before I can officially apply.

The one fly in the ointment is that we are broke, broke, broke and I have to wait to send in the application until we have the "nonrefundable" application fee. Sheesh!

As I was reading through all the college and university info, looking at majors and applying to an actual school, I looked at Bob and asked him, "Why was it I didn't think I could do this? Why did I wait so long?" He said he didn't know, but that maybe before...when I was so heavy, I just didn't think I could do anything. That could very well be. I was thinking about that yesterday. How I feel much more myself and am now more willing to volunteer for stuff at work. More willing to put myself "out there". More willing to explore, try new things, be a person.

Anyway, I am so excited! I used to not like school very much. But when I went back and got my AA, I learned to LOVE school. I made the Dean's list all but 2 semesters, I think. Something I'd never done before. I LOVE school! I can't wait, can't wait, can't wait. If all goes smoothly, I could be in school by January! Yipppeeeee!

So, I'm on my way to getting my degree. Finishing what I started. Completing this goal I've set before myself for soooooo long. Jobs, promotions and other employment opportunities requiring Bachelor's Degrees will no longer be a stumbling block for me. I can't wait. Bob is excited for me too. I hope this means better things ahead for us and our future. -------------------------------------- A Year Ago Today: October 02, 2003: Where is That Golden Ticket?

I donít know what to write today. Or maybe I do but am not sure how to say it. Iím in a difficult place right now. I had a little bit of a melt down last night. The past few days have been scary for me. realizing how little money we have and how much more we need due to Sweet Baboo's medical needs. Wanting a house, children, more and realizing that at this point, we may just never get there.

I've been having trouble breathing. I have had this problem before. I havenít ever seen a doctor for it. Itís why I was yawning all day yesterday. I can breathe, but I have a hard time "catching" my breath. Like there is something there interrupting my breathing, hampering it, keeping it lower and less than a good big breath. There are some tricks that help me to take a big breath and feel like it "catches". Yawning is one of those tricks. This usually happens when Iím under alot of stress or fear or pressure. It used to happen when I was in college or when I did something particularily stupid and hadn't yet faced the consequences. Itís happening again now.

We seem to be constantly struggling. We have everything we need. All our utility bills are paid, our cars, our rent, etc. We have food, clothing, shelter and 2 cats! But there is nothing extra. We have stopped eating out, donít go shopping or buy extras. We have about a million doctors bills to pay off and now our computer is on the fritz just when SB needs it for school.

I know weíre not alone. Millions of people struggle with money every day. Weíre not unique. What is unique is I donít see a way out of here. We already declared bankruptcy and have deferred loans and have had others cancelled due to SB's disability.

We aren't the best money managers in the world, but we are learning. We make mistakes, we admit them and fix them. We do what we think is best, presenting a united front. I wish I could do more. I do my job and make what I can and Itís still not enough. Maybe I should take on a second job. I could work part time on the weekends or something.

Last night I was so scared. SB was trying to tell me about his fears and his pressures and instead of calming him and encouraging him like I usually do, I let the fear get to me. Not only that, but I began to see me as the cause of his fears. As though if I weren't here, he would have the assistance he needs to get what he needs. If he wasnít married, he could get MN Care and food stamps and financial assistance and Medicare. And he wouldnít have to worry about giving me money for work or about me using the charge cards without him knowing or about me always wanting something. He wouldnít have to worry about doing laundry every week or picking up after himself or cleaning out the sink and dishwasher. He could do his own thing and do it when he wanted.

So not only was I thinking these things, but believing them! I knew they were lies, but I believed them. That is a scarier thought than anything else.

Iím doing better today, but still scared. Still unsure what the future holds. Still wishing we had the golden ticket to financial freedom. We know it wouldnít bring happiness, but it sure would take a load off of our shoulders.

Thanks for reading.

8:26 p.m. - Saturday, Oct. 02, 2004


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