When I began my college career back in 1986, I had no idea what field I wanted to pursue. I just went to school because that’s what everybody else did. My first attempt at college was cut very short by getting pregnant (although I did stick it out through the end of my freshman year).
After my son was born, I needed to work to support us. At the age of 19, with little education and a limited skill set, I got my first job as a secretary. I was employed in this field for many years and worked for several different companies. Along the way, I realized I liked to help people, but I didn’t like being told what to do.
Life marched on. I got married, had another child, and began taking some general education courses through the local community college at night when my husband was home to watch the kids.
In the fall of 1997, I decided to get serious and “find a direction.” I took a course in drug and alcohol abuse counseling, knowing it was a job whose sole purpose was to help others. A few weeks into the semester, I decided I was not cut out for that line of work because (a) I was not a recovering alcoholic; and (b) at the time I didn’t know anyone who was. Essentially, I was out of my element.
Shortly thereafter, my journey was again interrupted because my third child put me on bed rest for nearly two months and I needed to focus on my family. In the fall of 1998, thinking about advancing myself again, my mom reminded me how much I liked to decorate, so I looked into the associate degree in interior design program. I LOVED IT! I got A’s in every class and landed a great internship just before graduating from the program. That position gave me a wealth of experience. So much so, that in 2001 I struck out on my own, creating From House to Home Full Service Interior Design. I felt the name really captured the essence of what I wanted to help my clients achieve.
I really enjoyed working with individuals and couples, although I often felt like more of a counselor than a designer. You see, in order to be successful as a designer, you really have to listen to what is being said, as much as to what is not being said. And in the case of working with couples, marrying their decorating tastes truly lends itself to crafting the art of compromise.
In 2007, with two additional children added to the mix, our family moved from Wisconsin to Texas for my husband’s job. So ended From House to Home. I was sad to leave it behind, as I knew I would not have the energy needed to rebuild the business in Dallas.
The years 2008-2009 provided some very important and life changing lessons, giving me, I believe, the ability to see the direction my life is to take from here.
In the fall of 2009, I began to finish a BA (in Psychology) through Argosy University. The program is mainly online which allows me to be home for my kids while finishing my education. The “up” side is no commute, the “down” side is staying on task since there really is no one to be accountable to but myself.
It is almost the end of 2011, and I am proud to say I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am just 18 credits away from my goal! But of course, that won’t be the end of my college career. I want to become a Substance Abuse Counselor which means I need to go on to graduate school.
The point of my story is this…sometimes it takes longer than you expect to achieve something important in your life. Sometimes there are interruptions, you get sidetracked, or you end up someplace completely different than where you intended to. Sometimes you come full circle, as in my case with drug and alcohol counseling. But, that’s the joy and unpredictability of life. That’s what keeps things interesting and helps us stay on our toes. So, if you have considered going back to school or changing your life’s direction, I encourage you to do so. After all, life is short…even when it seems as if your goal will take you forever to accomplish!