"turn to face the strange, ch-ch-changes...."
So goes the chorus to the Bowie song of my youth. Funny, I have always garbled the words to that song growing up apparently, because I could have sworn that somewhere in that song he declared "God may change me, but you can't this time." *grin*
Anyway, in addition to my favorite saying "life is what happens while you're making other plans", there is the saying "the only constant is change". Or as Og Mandino put it in the book The Greatest Salesman on Earth, "this too shall pass". Everything changes.
My life as a home educator is coming to a close. My youngest, my amazing, talented, handsome, smart son, is ready to graduate early. Being the kind of home school mom I am, he will have all the credits he needs by the end of this semester. He was doing high school level work in junior high, and unlike public school students in this district, I gave him high school credit for his efforts. He's taking two online courses at the local community college this semester, his SATs next week, and then I guess once those are in he can start applying for the fall semester.
He has agreed to go to community college for the first year at least, as we are not prepared to send him off into the big wide world just yet. His freshman year will involve taking the bus uptown and doing his own thing on campus though, so after a year of that kind of responsibility, if has handled it will (and we expect he will) then we will send him off into the big wide world to seek his fortune. (Actually, we'll send him off to state university, but I always loved that line from the old fables. =)
So, in preparation for what I might do next, which needs to involve a decent salary for a couple of reasons, I also registered at the local community college. I intended to take only one online course this semester, but found out (much to my initial dismay)that I would need to go full-time and work h-a-r-d the rest of this year in order to be able to APPLY for the program I wanted to start in Fall 2012. If I take it any slower, I won't be able to start the program until Fall 2013, and waiting that long is just unacceptable to me.
So marks the beginning of a new phase in my life, once again. It will be kind of fun this semester, as my son and I are taking some of the same online classes and we can help each other study. And the next (fall) semester, I will be heading off for an hour commute every morning. I will need to finish a prerequisite certification course I need in order to apply for the course of study I really want. I will probably be way too busy to worry about how he's doing, which will wind up either a good thing or a bad thing, who knows? But it is what it is.
I am alternately terrified, confident, slightly anxious, and merely feeling okay about it. I was at the community college all day when the bronchitis kicked in, so this is all very new and mostly unexpected. I mean, I expected to enroll in "a" course, not find out I will have to be super committed and diligent and carry a full schedule right away. I compared it to going to Vegas to watch a show and waking up married the next day. I was not planning on this level of commitment when I walked onto campus that morning.
But I can do it. Other people do it. It's not impossible. And I really want this too, even if I am scared at times. If I fail, let it be after I gave it my all, and not for lack of trying, right?
I want this for several reasons. Number one is because that's what grown-ups do, they work for a living. I will definitely be going back to work, but if I take the time off and put in the effort to get trained for a specific skill-set, I can make more money for the same amount of work each week. The more I make, the more I can contribute to our retirement. Plus I want to be fully financially self-sufficient should the need arise. Secondly, I want a professional credential of some kind. It's a cultural confirmation that I really am as smart as I think I am, and it is awarded a respect in society that I never received as an office clerk at Wal-Mart back in my former working life. Third, I want a job serving humanity in some useful way, however small it may be.
So, if all goes well, and I make it through all the prerequisites, and am accepted in the medical sonography course in the fall of 2012, I may someday have a new career as an ultrasound technician. Or not. A lot can happen between now and then. The only thing constant is change. ;-)