When I decided to go back to college [for the millionth time] in 2009, I had a son in high school, a son in middle school, a son in elementary school, and a daughter in preschool. AND my eldest son (who was not living under our roof) was in the middle of some pretty solid personal challenges.
Needless to say, there were myriad reasons and more than one good excuse for me not to attempt to finish my college degree. However, seeing one child leave the nest and having full realization the rest would follow (quicker than I wanted to admit), I decided it was time I commit myself to finishing something I had started many years earlier (1986, to be exact). The time was going to pass regardless, and if I wanted to be in a position to help others, I needed the schooling part of my journey behind me.
With sixty credit hours looming ahead and a history of being a lazy, unmotivated student, I made the decision to see it through. (Maybe it had something to do with all those student loans I was committing to, or maybe...just maybe...I'd finally decided to be mature about my studies and put my best foot forward). I chose to finish my degree through an online university, which is SUPER convenient, but requires Herculean discipline, focus and a strong ability to work independently.
Although I was committed, there were many days when I felt like I would never see the day that I would graduate from college.
Then one day, guess what? I actually GRADUATED! My goal, to work with adolescents who had addiction issues. Instead of incurring more student loan debt, I went to work in the field as an intern. The state of Texas requires those with a bachelors degree to pass a rigorous test AND put in 4,000 hours BEFORE you can become a licensed chemical dependency counselor.
So, here I am, test passed and not quite halfway through my hours....diligently chipping away at them every week.
Right about the time I finished my degree, I developed a passion for writing. It started in 2010 when I spent a few weeks writing my life's story. One thing led to another, and my story was published. I decided I liked writing SOOOOO much, I kept doing it (through this very website).
Another avenue I decided to pursue was to become a trained child advocate through CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates). As a result of this volunteer position, I have learned a great deal about the child protective services system, the legal system, and how these two entities work together for abused and neglected children. In addition, as a result of this mentoring program, I have had the pleasure of getting to know some very special young people who have come into really big challenges through no fault of their own.
Over time, my desire to help adolescents with substance abuse issues has morphed into a passion to educate and support the parents of kids facing treatment. Each week I find this part of my job to be immensely satisfying.
Recently however, I had an epiphany of sorts...why just help those parents who are in the thick of trying to figure out what to do about their child and his/her drug or alcohol use? WHY NOT TRY AND HELP PARENTS WHO HAVEN'T ENCOUNTERED THAT PROBLEM YET?????
Maybe there is some way I can help parents avoid this huge problem to begin with!!!!!!!
While it is true I don't have all the answers, and there is no 100% sure way to keep your child from choosing drugs, there are ways of educating and supporting parents so it is less likely their child will go down the path towards addiction.
So this is my latest endeavor. A mission to try and help parents BEFORE they have a child knee-deep in drug issues.
Now....why am I telling you all of these things about what has gone on in my life over the past few years?????
Because I want you to know there are always obstacles and reasons NOT to commit to, or to accomplish something in your life. HOWEVER, if your gut is telling you to do something, you should listen to it!
You need to develop a "stop at nothing" attitude to accomplish your purpose!
You see, I don't know exactly how I am going to help parents avoid drug problems with their kids, but the how is not as important as the desire to accomplish my dream.
The how will come with time. The how will reveal itself when it's necessary.
Until that time I have to walk in faith that my goals/dreams/desires to help others in this area is enough to make it happen!
THAT'S FAITH IN ACTION!!!!!!!!!!
So, my question to you today is....
What is your heart telling you? What is the deep dream or desire YOU have that's been gnawing away at you, the one you keep pushing down and trying to ignore? Why not just listen to that dream or vision and move ahead, one step at a time, to accomplish your dream?
People do it everyday.
And so can YOU!