After two completed semesters of postgraduate study, I remain in (very) good standing. At one third of the way towards a Master’s degree, I continue on a path that was not part of the big picture just two short years ago. Opportunity is a funny thing; multiple doors I never thought I could reach have opened and I am walking through them. A perfect storm of circumstances have set this course that is, literally, beyond my every dream. I never dared dream so big, yet here it is.
Those familiar with my musings here over the past three and a half years might recall that school was not my forte – I could excel, but never cared to. However, as major disruptions in my life materialized, it was in school that I sought refuge. Community colleges, vocational schools and, of course, universities sheltered me from the fallout until I could again regain my footing and go back to the “real world,” so to speak. And perhaps it was this dichotomy in perspective that drove me away from education when things got good again.
More likely, however, it was simply a means to an end and once that end was in sight, I would jump ship once again. Always chasing the brass ring, when school appeared to be an impediment, it was discarded for a more expedient path to riches – and the “richness” those riches could buy. But I was wrong and I have said so, though perhaps not quite so succinctly, before. Higher education, or whatever path one chooses, is as “real” as any other real world experience. All experiences are and the totality of my 46 plus years of experience has served me well, as unpleasant as much of it was.
And to be perfectly honest, much of it still is. True, I am currently basking in the successful completion of my second semester of pursuing my Master’s, but the last two weeks of that semester was grueling – and the entire semester was no cakewalk. More is coming – I have mapped out a three-year program that includes not only my own course work, but also instructing undergraduates as well. That leaves four more semesters of more reading and writing than I have ever done culminating with a thesis that is presently only in its early formative stages.
The past two semesters have not reduced the trepidation I feel moving forward, but it has increased my confidence that I am able to perform at this level. I now have a history that shows beyond any doubt that it is within my grasp. It remains to be seen what will materialize beyond, but other doors of opportunity, though not yet open, are within sight. A doctoral program is a distinct possibility, but I would be foolish to limit myself to only that. History also shows that doors of unknown origin and destination are likely to appear – I need only be open to the possibility.
The bottom line is simply that this thing we call life is never static; it is always new. The experiences I have lived - all the good, all the bad and all the ugly – have delivered me to this very moment. What lies ahead can only come from what has already transpired – every moment of every day for the past 46 plus years has created the now. The reward for what I have done is nothing more than a continuation from here – a new now. And for the past few years, that has been more than enough.