27 years after walking onto a college campus for the first time, I am, once again, a student.
When I started college:
- The top song was “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston.
- One of the top box office movies was Aladdin – the first one.
- Sales of CDs exceeded total sales of cassette tapes for the first time.
- It was the last year that both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games shared the same year.
- The IBM ThinkPad 700C laptop was created.
- Construction began on the Mall of America in Minnesota.
- And a shipping container filled with 28,000 rubber ducks was lost in the Pacific Ocean. To this day, they’re still being found around the world.
So if you’re on the 5-year plan, don’t feel so bad. By the time I (finally) finish my degree, I’ll be on about the 30-year plan – and likely older than half of my professors. Whateves. (OK, I’ll stop using teenage vernacular now and stick to the mom-jeans. Kidding. I am totally not wearing mom jeans.) I walked by the faculty parking lot the other day while I was taking care of some things on campus and stopped to let this cute little twenty-something zip into the lot – the faculty lot – in her little blue bug complete with headlight eyelashes and, I’m not kidding, Minnie Mouse seat covers. I’d be hard pressed to recall a time when I’ve felt my middle-aged status more in all my life. But hey, goals are goals and I’ve decided that finishing this one is more important than how I look doing it – or how long it takes me to cross the finish line.
When we moved to Washington six years ago, it was part of our family plan that once Corey was firmly established in his job, I would go back to school full time. After being a stay-at-home mom for almost a decade, I started working part time when we moved here and, in fact, when I took the job I have now, I told them I’d give them a good five years and then would leave to pursue my educational goals. Well, life obviously threw us a curveball but here I am, shaking it off and facing my goal down once again.
This journey, like most of our journeys I suppose, looks a little different than I thought it would. Instead of having a wildly successful husband holding the fort down at home while I go back to school, I’m adding school to my current juggling act of a working, single mom. So if you see me drop a ball or if you’re zipping into the school parking lot in front of me over these next few years while I slowly tick away at this lifelong goal, kindly stop and toss the ball back into the fray and/or slow your car while I scoot my walker across the parking lot. I’d appreciate it a whole lot.
Oh, and send coffee.