Who Am I?

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I found out this week that I am officially getting a grant for a retraining program. It’s a good thing, because I started the certificate program last Monday. During class, I couldn’t help but feel insecure. It’s been over twenty years since I worked in the pharmaceutical field and the landscape is not familiar anymore. To make matters worse the only other female in the class is a chemical engineer, and she SOUNDS like one. Our homework this week is to post a paragraph on our technical background. I refuse to date mine. There comes a time when we all bluff our way through. Resumes come to mind. But who am I really going to be? I don’t want to bluff anymore.

My friend reminded me that this woman is also unemployed (not working in her chosen profession) too, and was laid off.  There is nothing like unemployment to level the playing field. It is happening all over our country and there is a huge shift happening concerning education. I had to make a decision whether to finish my degree. When I found out my credits wouldn’t transfer (yeah…like English composition and math change all the time) and I’d have to start over, I quickly decided not to. The loans would cripple me. It’s times like these though, that I wonder. Is it about ego?  I am very smart, worked in the science field without the benefit of a science degree and read voraciously. Why then do I feel like an illiterate hick when I get around people who have degrees? That is one powerful piece of paper! I find I work twice as hard to prove myself, which gets old really fast. Let’s face it, part of getting a college education is all the crap you have to go through to obtain one. Bureaucracy and navigating the FAFSA, not to mention the financial-aid office should get us an honorary one. Plus, I already have paid off numerous student loans!

This is what is called living life on life’s terms and it’s not one of my favorites. I know I am smart enough to hold my own in this course but I don’t like feeling like I’m not, so I’ve decided to change those. Feelings aren’t reality. Hmmm, where to start? I’ve got some new homework.

Ironically, a new client that requested my time, has been a huge champion. She sees things I don’t. It’s made me look at myself differently. I always thought I had high self-esteem but as soon as I lost my security blankets (relationships, food) I deflated like an old balloon. It was surprising and hard to navigate, but I am getting there. My friends are wonderfully supportive and loving but sometimes I wonder what they see? They don’t have any trouble telling me, but I have to be able to see who that person is. That is where my education has to start. It is deep spiritual work. I have lost almost fifty pounds and with each dress size I change, I discover this person I didn’t know was there. She’s a stranger of sorts, someone I am getting to know.

It has been an insanely busy week and it didn’t help that I made a mistake in my checking account and the soda I bought will cost me about $100. The waves of shame and abuse that rose up brought me to my knees. Old messages that aren’t true. I made a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes, but some of us were taught to punish with them. Messages that were given to me, that I am giving back. I guess one is never too old to lighten up? I sent FH a birthday card this week that says “Wisdom comes with age…wouldn’t you rather be stupid”? Not on your life!

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8 responses »

  1. Gosh, financial aid was awful. I think they created the FASFA process to torture incoming students. I luckily didn’t have too terrible experiences with financial aid, but I’ve heard horror stories. So proud and happy for you, you deserve all of this goodness! And you will do great, you are a smart talented woman, and you’ll probably end up knocking their socks off 🙂

  2. Your journey is not for the fainthearted. But it is one that will focus your energies and attention on creating the next stage in your life. It is sifting through those recurring, negative messages and visualizing a new life-affirming reality. Here is one of the quotes I have on my desk. “There is no illusion greater than fear.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Teh Ching You will continue to be amazing!!!!

  3. I don’t care what is on my friend’s resume. I care that time spend with them is enjoyable and always makes me feel glad about the time I spent with them. I always was richer for having spent time with you.

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