Learning to Live
It seems like the last ten years of my life has been wasted. I had finally gotten to the college I had always wanted to go to, and looking back I can say I got scared… to say the least. I came home.
My parents divorced shortly after I returned home after 27 years of marriage, and as the oldest I felt it was my responsibility to help take up the slack, since I had a 14 year old brother at the time. I completely stopped my life to help my family, and somehow, somewhere, I convinced myself that that was what my life was to be.
I took a job that was close to what I had always wanted to do, and for a while, I was happy. Or thought I was. Suddenly, five years ago, my father had a heart attack. He was supposed to be on all these medications, and I thought that I had to take care of him, but he remarried, and she made sure that as far as she was concerned, his children weren’t welcome. When my father didn’t say anything to the contrary, I was heart broken. My father was everything to me and I felt as though we were being thrown away by him.
Two years ago, we began to mend our relationship. Then a year ago, just when it seemed like things were coming together again, his past heart condition worsened to the point that nothing medically could be done. So, I did what I felt was my responsibility, and I brought him on hospice. I could only sit by and watch as he got worse and worse. But he and my mother reconciled, and they were even talking about getting re-married. But, just as we thought he was getting a little better, he took a turn for the worse, and on October 29, 2007, he passed away with his family surrounding him.
That was nothing compared to the months that followed. I had already taken a leave from my job to take care of him, and before I got ready to go back I was offered a job which I readily accepted, and quit my other job. When I called to ask the new job when I needed to come in to fill out the paperwork, they told me that they gave the job to someone else. I was now jobless and unable to return to my old job.
For the first three months after my Dad died, I didn’t leave my house. I couldn’t even get in the car without bursting into tears for some unknown reason. I just missed my father so much. We were told that we had six months and he was gone in one. I felt angry and cheated, and the depression was so bad it was a struggle to get out of bed. When I finally did, and tried looking for a job, everywhere I turned I was turned down, or they simply didn’t call back. I was 33 years old and having to depend on my mother, who had just lost the love of her life as well, for a roof over my head and food in my stomach. I felt as if I had lost everything and I was useless to everyone.
Finally I got a job at a local retailer, but it wasn’t enough. I really wanted to get my degree so I could make more than minimum wage, but had no idea how to get there. That’s when The Secret came into my life.
My brother’s girlfriend had bought it and showed it to my brother, and they both encouraged me to watch it. Well, I caught the tale end of them playing it one night, and it caught my attention. One night they invited me over and we watched it together. I thought this was another one of those self-help videos, but as I watched and began to understand The Secret, I realized I was wrong.
After that, I began putting it into use. I wanted to finish my degree in Criminal Justice as my father had always wanted me to, but I had no money to pay for classes as I was no longer eligible for financial aide at my current community college. But I knew there had to be a way. I concentrated on what I wanted, and that was just to get back into school. And somehow, I was able to come up with the money.
Once I started classes again, I began to concentrate on graduating. I went to talk to my councilor about when I would graduate, and was absolutely floored when he told me I would graduate this coming May of ’09.
Now, not only am I going to graduate, but I will be returning to the college I wanted to graduate from and getting on in the life I had wasted for the last ten years in just spinning my wheels with other people’s problems and not dealing with mine. Because it truly wasn’t until I accepted that I did attract all of this, and I had to take care of myself.
I am learning to live!