Saturday morning found me at the University Center, with hundreds of other teacher candidates, preparing to take my state content exam for Social Sciences: History.
Being there with so many future colleagues made me think of the steps it took to get here: the last lap of my degree plan.
And to think, it all started with a heart-felt declaration. A decision that I would go to college and finish it....
During high school I had worked my butt off to qualify for scholarships and find the perfect school. Only to graduate and discover 6 weeks later....I was pregnant.
I was so shocked I could barely function. I had come so far only to hit a snag all to familiar for far too many girls.
So I enrolled in my sister's Alma mater instead of my original choice. I figured being closer to family and home was what I needed. But even with her support when school started I just seem to couldn't perform. I was depressed. Suffering from morning sickness. And embarrassed to be the pregnant black girl.
So I quit.
That winter my husband and I married and we started the type of stable, dependable, two parent family we both wanted for our children. And I somehow convinced myself that this would be enough, and for a while it was.
But overtime, even with frequent moves and busy toddlers, I craved school. I craved learning and growing and discovering new truths. Just heading to the public library was no longer enough. I needed something that was my own.
After my last son was born and our family headed to Japan I made a promise to myself that I would find a way to go to school because I had to finish what I had started.
Looking back on it now, it seems as though this process has taken ages. Well....actually, I guess it has. Yet the time factor no longer bothers me.
Why? Because I am fully accomplishing what I set out to do way back in 2001. And it feels so good.
In the fitness world there's this thing called "runner's high". It's the rush a runner/athlete feels at the end of a race or event. A splendid burst of endorphins that sweeps you up enough to make you momentarily forget the pain and fatigue and instead ride the wave of victory.
That's how I feel. Yes, I'm tired. True, I still have a career to nurture and build. But right now the run has me so high. I am still running this thing, but I know it's heading in the right direction. And that gives strength to my tired bones.