A New Chapter

I have a secret to share.

One that’s really scary and a little embarrassing for me to put out there where anyone who lay eyes on my blog can see. For over ten years, I’ve carried this little secret around in my pocket, only giving those I’ve known for a while and who I really trust a peek. My secret?

I did not graduate from high school.
And I have never gotten my GED.

Whew!

I tend not to divulge that information until I’ve known someone for a while because I’d like for people to get to know me without judgment. Let’s face it – people tend to view high school dropouts a certain way. I have to admit, I glean a bit of satisfaction when I finally do tell someone and see the surprised look on their face. I’m an intelligent woman. I don’t fit into the idea a lot of people have in their heads about what a high school dropout looks like. I’ve done well for myself in life so far without even so much of a high school degree. Until recently, not having a diploma wasn’t an issue for me; I got by with my intelligence, my ability to learn quickly, and my technology skills.

Something inside me changed recently and I’m not entirely sure what it was. I think that it was, in part, motivated by my mother’s death. My mother obtained a Bachelor’s degree in psychology when she was in her early forties, but never did anything with it. She was one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met in my life, but her mental illness and life choices spiralled out of control so quickly she never reached her potential. She was capable of so much more, and one day I realized…

So am I.

I realized that I didn’t want to look back on my life when I am old and regret never pursuing a higher education. There is something inside of me that I haven’t tapped into yet. I don’t know what it is, but something awoke inside of me yearning for more. Suddenly, I found myself desiring a diploma. I want my daughter to look at me one day and see that I accomplished something that wasn’t necessarily easy. I want to be an inspiration to her. I also don’t want to be defined as someone who didn’t finish high school – I’d rather be seen as someone who succeeded despite the choices she made early in her life.

So I’ve begun the process in getting my GED. I’ve taken my assessment test and scored high enough to follow what’s called the “Fast Track” process. I will attend one “refresher” course, then take the official practice test and if I pass that, I will go on to taking the official GED test.

If all goes well, with a little studying and luck, I could have my GED by the end of this month. From there? I’m planning on enrolling in college. I don’t know what I’m going to do yet – I am drawn to something having to do with writing or editing – but I’m just not sure. I may not even end up pursuing a college degree. I may just take some courses to hone my writing skills and keep my mind sharp. Who knows? I just know that I’m excited. I can’t wait to see where this takes me. I have gotten amazing support from my husband, my family, my friends, and my coworkers and bosses – which means the world to me. More than they all know.

Wish me luck, friends.

college graduates throwing caps into the air

(img credit GettyImages and Digital Vision)