It’s been nearly 3 years since I began telling “my truth”. I told myself that every few years I would add to it to keep my readers informed as well as to get the information down while it was fresh.
I you haven’t read the first 7 parts- this will make no sense to you… scroll down (this blog posts most recent on top; not in order). So, get to reading; go ahead I’ll wait.
I finished off in May of 2011 6 months after losing my mom. In the last post I talked at length about my mom’s side of the family and how wonderfully they all gathered around to support each other through that impossible time. While I will never forget how grateful I truly am to them for doing that- things changed quickly. I’m going to make a long story short- a few of them (not all) took issue with me writing about myself and my life and we have not spoke in the 3 years since this was written. Honestly, I find that to be their problem and not mine and I have no regrets.
As you recall I ended saying that I was determined to start to live my life with a new mantra; ” The people who matter don’t mind. The people who mind don’t matter.” Well, I’ve pretty much stuck to it.
As for the rest of my life it has taken some unexpected and exciting turns. After losing mom in May 2011 I decided that I needed to get back into the world. One of my lifelong loves has been the learning. Since Dan has been going to school since Fall 2010 I felt the bug to get back into it myself.
As established, not working has kept my Crohn’s at bay. Since Dan provides nicely for the two of us this not working hasn’t been a big issue except that on the days that I do feel good I get the itch to go out in the world. Of course, not many jobs allow for that type of work schedule. But I decided to look around and see what I could find. Well, jobs were hard to find for everyone at the time. And finding one that was going to be accepting of my situation meant settling for something I probably wouldn’t like. Dan impressed on me that he’s fine if I want to work but it has to be for enjoyment more than money and nothing was really fitting that bill. Also, it was important that it not take away from the precious little time we had together (no weekends). I saw that this was nearly impossible and decided to consider another means of getting out there.
Out local community college Stark State offers cheap Continuing Education classes and after looking through their catalog I saw that they offered “Sign Language” in the Fall of 2011 and they were scheduled two nights of the week when Dan already was up at Akron taking classes. I thought this would be a great way for me to meet some people and have a chance to get out of the house. I was a little disappointed to discover that this was not ASL but in fact Signed English (there is a difference). I enjoyed it all the same but it was just a short introductory class were we learned words but not really much in the way of forming a sentence and there were merely 5 students.
Yet, it started the fire in me going. I talked to Dan and explained that even this little class got me interested in going back to school. Maybe a different degree than English would allow me a better chance of finding a career that I really enjoy and thus; less and more manageable stress. Yes, I realize now how ridiculous this sounds but I swear it made sense at the time. I was searching for something.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. I figured a good starting point would be where I left off- Kent. It was Spring semester 2012. I went to the Stark branch near my house and signed up for one class with my cousin Kati who was already going there. We took a world history class. I was seriously considering getting a History degree because I thought working in a museum would be amazing. Also, with my English BA I would only need a handful of additional classes. It wasn’t until I found out how popular that major was and that it was as useful as an English degree halfway through the semester that I decided maybe not. But it was a nice way to just put a toe in the pool and see what I thought. I loved it. I truly enjoyed being back in school. I was ready to commit to it but I wasn’t sure Kent was going to have anything else for me.
Since Dan was already going to Akron he suggested that I start up there with him. I met with and adviser and took a few career placement tests and sheepishly asked about Chemical Engineering. I’ve always loved Chemistry and even have my own Chem lab in my house. It seemed like a great fit. Having a BA already even cuts out almost all the Non-major classes except for math. I proudly announced this to my Crohn’s doctor who immediately told me that she couldn’t see this ever working. Chemical Engineering is widely accepted as one of the hardest if not the hardest majors in college. No matter how much I loved it there was going to be a lot of stress involved. But I didn’t really like her and she wasn’t going to convince me of anything. Even though, of course, she was right! (I have a new doctor now).
Since I had some math anxiety we decided I should take my first math class on its own that summer. I took the lowest class they offered – Intermediate Algebra. I wasn’t having any trouble with it and was not quite halfway through when something went wonky with the school happened and they were going to have to shut down my class. We all got refunds and were encouraged to schedule it in the Fall. Since I aced my first few quizzes Dan and I decided I could certainly handle it with other classes- no big deal.
So I was all signed up for Fall 2012. I would be taking Intermediate Alegabra, American Sign Language 1 and a Chemical Engineering class (I can’t remember the actual name). But before that I have to tell you about the most amazing experience of my life!