The Big Decision to Return to School

I’m epically indecisive. I tend to overanalyze everything until I freeze up and just end up making no decision at all. For something as small as what to eat for dinner or what type of cooking utensils to buy for our kitchen. So you can imagine how long it took me to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

It’s funny, when I was younger I always got excited thinking about going off to college and being on my own. I never would have guessed my college career would go on this winding, untraditional course. I guess that’s what happens to dreamers and planners…nothing ever turns out the way you think it would. So at 22, I ended up in a real career job with an actual path of advancement I could build toward. Without even finishing my associate’s degree. It taught me that hard work does pay off and that sometimes a degree isn’t required to advance in the business world. Sure you have to fall into the right situation…but when you do, there are no limits to what you can achieve.

A couple of years later, I had advanced into this amazing job, in an earning position that my friends were still working their way up to, as they were a year out of college and had been thrown into this giant recession. I felt so grateful. But here’s the thing –I knew deep down that the career path I was on probably wasn’t for me. I also knew that there was a rapidly shrinking window of time in to actually finish my degree. If I waited too long, I wouldn’t ever do it. But I knew I would probably be a complete idiot to go back to school at this point. My husband has a job in construction and while he works hard for a great company, they were at the mercy of the economy. There is never a guarantee that they are going to win the next bid – that’s just the nature of their business right now. And I didn’t know for sure what I wanted to go back to school for anyway; I would have just been doing it for the sake of returning to school. That wasn’t something I wanted to gamble our mortgage on. So I stayed put for a couple of months while I dreamed and planned and changed my mind and was generally confused.

This went on until we got word that Andy would be moved to an approximately two-year project in SoCal. We had been married for all of two months. Neither of us was super excited about the prospect of spending our first two years as husband and wife in a long-distance marriage. The decision to leave my job was made for me. It was bittersweet – and sad and terrifying – leaving this company that had taken a chance on me, that believed in me and had a plan for me and helped me learn & succeed, to come to California with no job and only a very rough plan.

I made the move right in the middle of spring semester down here, so I took an online course offered through a school up by us in Washington during their spring quarter. It was something Andy talked me into – Intro to Interior Design. I got hooked. I could see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I would finally have that creative outlet I craved; it would give me the freedom to have the lifestyle I wanted once we decided to start a family. But I was terrified at not being good at it, at running out of ideas, at not being original enough or creative enough. That’s when I knew I would be sticking with it; something that simultaneously excites and scares the crap out of me will always hold my interest and push me to be better.

It all couldn’t have happened more perfectly for me. I was able to dip my toe in before I made the decision to jump.

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