I struggled to make friends. I did not fit in to any of the already established "cliques", and I am an introvert by nature. Until a few years ago, I didn't even know what an introvert was. I took a personality quiz for school, and discovered I was an ISFJ; the nurturer. My son, a classic introvert, has known this about himself for many years. I am only starting to discover my true self over the last several years. A lonely, outcast girl, who was battling demons at home, I turned to books to escape.
At school, I was what we would label an "average" student. The problem with labels is that they begin to define what we think of ourselves, and eventually we become the person that we have been labeled as. I struggled in math. I had a hard time with spelling. I didn't get any support at home, and I did the best that I could on my own. I never heard the words, "I am proud of you" come from my parents the entire time that I was growing up. When I graduated from high school, I had no faith that I would be accepted into college, or that I would receive any kind of financial aid to be able to afford to go. I did not understand how student loans worked, and I had no guidance to support me in making this all important decision.
Fast-forward twenty-one years, and last fall I found myself enrolled at SNHU. Starting college, while working full time pushed me right out of my comfort zone. In the wake of the end stages of my friend's journey with cancer and the way she lived life to the fullest, especially during her last year, gave me the motivation I needed to pursue this dream I have harbored in the quiet of my heart for so many years.
It has not been an easy road. Finding the balance between working, taking two classes every eight weeks, and caring for my house has not been easy. Sometimes I feel like I have it all under control and others it all seems to fall apart. On top of that, I am still working hard at rebuilding my relationship into something better than it has ever been. My priorities right now, are my marriage, my family, and school work. After that comes my job, and my house. Everything else is falling to the wayside.
Being a type-A first born, with OCPD tendencies, this has not been an easy adjustment. To walk through my house and see rugs that haven't been vacuumed in a week, or dust that has been accumulating on flat surfaces for two weeks or longer gives me an enormous twitch. When I realize that I have spent an entire day working, then doing school work, and it's time for bed and I haven't spend any quality time with my husband, is especially challenging. When we start to have many of those days in a row, I find that my mood starts to deteriorate. My love language is quality time, and even though I'm the reason my needs are not being met, I have to stop and make time for us to spend together, so that I can keep going with the important work that needs to be done.
Right now, I need to focus on me, and my school work, which seems selfish, but it is where I have been called to be at this point in my life. In order to do this, I have to say no to meetings, and social commitments. I have to say no to going for walks with friends after work as much as I want to catch up and visit. I have to say no to movies with my family that start late, and keep me from being able to get up early to get my school work done before leaving for work. I have to say no, so that I can say yes to this calling that I have taken on, because that is where I am right now.
It is not where I will be forever. This season will pass, and I will be able to say yes again, to those things that I cannot find time for right now. Right now, however, my best yes is an answer to being asked to step outside of my comfort zone, and pursue my dreams, even though I was scared. I said yes, and intend to be more than just an "average" student. I am giving college my best, even if in order to do so, I have to keep saying no.