My degree by 53

I find myself back in school for the third attempt to get a BA degree. My target completion is by mid year 2019. Often I spend most of my weekend doing homework, and I wonder is this a real value? This semester I am taking 2 classes- and that is a load considering everything else I am trying to do at the same time- including my treasure hunting and sharing. For some reason my response is- "Yes, I really want this!"

Why do I want a degree? 

All the time I got passed over for promotion- because I did not have a degree.

I enjoy learning- I have been told my love for "intellect" is a sin.  I don't agree.  This is stated with such venom as if to humiliate me for feeling superior and return me to my proper place.  Truth is I do not feel superior.  I am attracted to learning new thinking and ideas even if they don't align with my own.  I am willing to consider other points of view and entertain error.  I am aware I have disappointed my family and native culture by my very nature.  It is difficult to be a disappointment, but the core of who I am doesn't fit in their box.  If the box does not allow for the complexity and beauty I see- I have to step out of that box to stay true to my genuine authentic self.  Getting my degree is a validation of who I am.

For the true believer implication is often more powerful than reality.
It is an odd trait of human nature.
We choose the path of least resistance to maintain a belief.
We ignore rational differing points of view even verifible facts
in favor of  the slightest indication of anything that defends our bias.
Our beliefs help us feel safe by eliminating worries and fears.
Beliefs are positive... and they can cause problems- both right and wrong.
This is complexity- when we prefer to want something to be all or nothing.
There are more possibilities than than absolutes.
Why is mystery so scary?

Flash back to 1983 when I graduated high school. My cultural references told me I should be looking for a husband and get married with babies to follow. That my value was in being a good wife and mother. I didn't see why I needed to limit myself- I wanted to be a wife and mother- but what was the urgency- college only took a few years. I decided to move out at the age of 17 so that I could go to college. I held down two jobs and went to school and got my AA degree.

My native culture believed that there's something wrong with you if you can't get married in your early 20s.  It is said a single man over 25 is a menace to society.  I fell slave to the worry all the good ones would be gone leaving me an old maid. I pressured my then boyfriend into marrying me.  I am not proud of this.  Having a husband and a child made continuing my education very difficult. Add to that my husband was developing schizophrenia.  I ended up in a very complicated and dangerous situation. Although I will tell you now that getting a divorce probably saved our lives it was a difficult decision- divorce was also greatly stigmatized in my culture.  Truth was I loved him but came to face the limitation of my ability to help him, while keeping our son safe. Realizing my son was not safe gave me the strength to push back from everything I ever held on to as my purpose in life.  I really did not know who I was or what I was doing, but this left me a single mother for the next 11 years.  At the time in my culture divorced single mother's were the most pitiful, dangerous kind of woman. Community members don't know what to do with a woman so bold as to leave her husband.  She doesn't fit in their plan- I was shunned.  I think this has gotten better over the years.

Once I remarried and I had a second child and an engaged partner who made it possible for me to restart my education. I did well be getting within two semesters of graduation. Suddenly all hell broke loose and my husband became disabled in the middle of a home remodeling project- I needed to work over time- my best friend dying and my mother in a care home for months with malaria.  Something had to give and that was school. 

Fast Forward again.  I have lost my loved ones who were sick.  My home life is stable so I decided to start up with classes again. I was a little bit annoyed that with the new 11 year gap I had to retake most classes. But I swallowed my pride and I've stuck for 2 years now- taking one or 2 classes a semester- and now I'm approximately 4 semesters from getting my degree.  And yes I WANT IT!!