“Goals you refuse to chase don’t disappear, they become ghosts that haunt you.”
I read those words in Jon Acuff’s book “Finish” a little over 2 years ago and I realized that a ghost I haven’t chased was very much in my face. I put the thought away, just as I had so many times before. Yet, it lingered.
I wasn’t ready to do anything yet, but the thought started to fester.
Over the years, I have given a little weight to it, and then dismissed it, saying things like, I don’t have time. I don’t really need it. I am doing great without it. So then that ghost would be pacified by my rationalizations (always temporary) and so would quiet down and go away but not completely, it was always kind of hovering in the background.
Then I would forget about it for a while and then conversation with friends and colleagues would turn to backgrounds and schooling and I was suddenly very interested in other people and we somehow never got around to me. This was purposeful and I have dodged the topic for years. It’s time to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
I think many people (some of whom are reading this) would be very surprised to learn, I have an Associates Degree in Drama and while I am very proud of my degree, it also took me five years to get a two year degree.
Yes, you read that right. It should be mentioned, I worked full-time and paid for it as I went which is why it took me so long.
When I graduated from Austin Community College in May of 2005, I was working at Apple and was surrounded by wonderful and supportive people (Like this wonderful woman, who was my boss at the time) who were very excited to be there, took pictures with me and cheered me on and no one asked what’s next?
Most likely this was due to the fact that I had a great job and I was generally considered successful, and I surely did not make any noises about wanting to continue my college career. I had taken 5 years to get that two year degree and I was proud and a little stubborn because I was so successful that I didn’t need another degree.
So a few more years passed and I kept working and acting (so you could say I was successfully utilizing my degree) and continuing to believe I was fine and didn’t need the additional schooling.
Recently, I started to think about it a little more and thinking has recently turned to research and now finally, action.
Why? Well, I have a two year old daughter and I want her to be proud of me. Before you say she will be proud of me regardless of whether I have a bachelors degree or not, that isn’t really the point. I finally realized, this is something I need to do for me to to be PROUD of ME.
When you decide to do it, Put it out there so others can support you and cheer you on and keep you going when you are in the “this-sucks-and-is-way-harder-than-I-thought-it-would-be- why-did-I-ever-say-I-would-do-this” they can pull you back and remind you of all the reasons you decided to pursue your goal.
So (deep breath) I am taking my own advice. I have decided after a 14 year hiatus, I am going to go to school and get my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.
Mini-wave and celebration of me! THIS IS BIG NEWS, PEOPLE!
I am not sure how this is all going to work, what with working full-time and parenting full-time but I do know that I can’t hide from this ghost any longer and it’s time to confront it at last. I also know that in the history of my life, any decision I have made to do something challenging, I have ultimately figured it out, even if it took a little longer or frustrated me a little or a lot. But enough about me, How about you?
What ghost is haunting you? What haven’t you done that is lurking just in the background, what do you need to do that you have been putting off, what do you need to do to be proud of you.
Think About It.
3 thoughts on “Ghosts…”
Very exciting! Good luck!
Frequent reader of your blog, longtime fan of you, first time commenter. While I normally shy away from posting/commenting/social mediaing, upon reading this I just had to write – with gleeful enthusiasm and much love – GO FOR IT! After my family, my education has been the most precious jewel of my life (and both are tied together for me). I believe the pursuit of thoughtful investigation elevates humanity and our experience of life, as well as our ability to cultivate goodness in ourselves and those around us. Future educators and others that share your studies and academic journey will be so lucky to know you my friend. ¡Suerte, suerte, suerte, amiga mia!
Professor Pena, How delightful to have your wonderful words to lift me on my way on this very important journey. Thank you so much for the encouragement and continued support that helped me ever so slowly see this was the right move.