It has been awhile since I posted anything on my blog! Two months? Well here I am again. I took a little hiatus because I was finishing my masters degree in health psychology. *whew* I turned in my very last paper two days ago. Hitting “send” on that one was such a mix of emotions: excitement, uncertainty, disbelief, relief, joy, fear and pure exhaustion! Here I am two days later and I am basking in a feeling of accomplishment and strength. The journey felt like it might kill me at times, but I feel all the more confident and able for having done it.
I have to preface the whole thing by saying that, as a single mom, I feel a great amount of gratitude for having the privilege to even pursue a masters degree. My mom didn’t even have the same kind of opportunities when she was a single mom and my sister and I were much older than my son was when I was first on my own with him. Everything seems to take so much more effort when your kids are young…because it really does! My son was 2 when we started our life together as an “us”…him and I. He was in diapers and I was finishing my bachelors degree at OSU while centering my life around nap time, bed time, playdates and potty training. He was almost 4 and sat in the stadium at Oregon State University with my family as I walked during graduation and received my diploma. He doesn’t remember that one, but I couldn’t have been more proud to have my son there watching.
A few years later, a few birthday parties and firsts…first day of school, first night at daddy’s house, first visit from the tooth fairy, moving from an apartment into a house….lots of new beginnings all the time, I started my masters program. Lots of blood, sweat and tears along the way. I would drop Ashton off at school, leave for work, come pick him up at after school daycare and head to run errands or go to soccer or karate or swimming. Home for dinner and chores and bedtime. Then, once I was good and tired….I would start in on my work for the evening. This degree required all papers from me. I love writing but not technical writing and NOT after a full day of work and being mom. But write I did. Research. Write. Research. Write. Repeat. Sometimes I would hit a wall and just cry. The next morning I would do it all over again, always mindful of the goal.
I feel that I have so many people to thank for encouragement and grace along the way. I have always aimed to have a balanced life between work, school and Ashton. But, I’ve definitely heard myself saying, “I can’t, I have a paper due” A LOT over the past couple of years!! For the people in my life who saw my goal even when I was having a hard time seeing straight at all…thank you! Thank you for putting up with my grumpiness when I was tired and feeling so worn, thank you for delighting in the little accomplishments along the way (“yay I finished my paper 1 day early!”), thank you for cheering me on when I didn’t realize how much I needed it. Thank you for understanding I was spread too thin, but understanding why I was doing it too.
This milestone in my life is MAJOR for me. MAJOR. I do not take it lightly in the slightest bit. My deepest hope is that Ashton has an internal awareness of working hard for meaningful things in life. If I accomplished just that from all my efforts I will be so happy.
My other hope is that if there is anyone out there struggling to reach a goal, that I can somehow inspire some motivation. No one can do it for you. It won’t be easy, I can promise that. In fact, I can also promise that it will be damn hard. But it will be worth it. In fact, it will likely be more worth it than anything else that you do if it is something you believe in and have to sacrifice for. If I can do it, you can do it! You just have to commit.