Nevermind

Depressed-Woman.png

I have been in bed since Friday.  It is currently Monday, January 30, 2017 and I am out of bed.  Not because I want to be, but because I have to be.

Friday morning, I met with the financial aid department at my chosen school and was told that since I already have a four-year degree, I don’t qualify for ANY financial aid to get a certificate.  Apparently, you can always go forward from a Bachelor’s degree….you can get a master’s or a PhD…but you can’t go down.  A certificate isn’t considered “academic” – so I can’t borrow the funds needed to obtain my goal.

Of course, I didn’t take “no” for an answer….it isn’t in my nature.  I called and spoke to my own school – Auburn University, with the hope that my Alumni status might carry some weight,  and they have the same policy.  It’s across the board…..you can go up, but not down.  Of course, I looked into scholarships and grants (none of which I qualify for) and I looked into getting a private loan from Sallie Mae….no dice.  I am not employed.  I am a stay at home mom.  I could get someone to co-sign, but no one I know is able, or would qualify for that for various reasons.  Plus, I don’t want to put anyone in that position.  I don’t want anyone else to pay for my education.  My goal was to borrow the money on my own, have the debt go onto my credit report and help me raise my credit so I could buy my own car in a few years.

The answer was no.

My self-worth took a huge hit.  I don’t regret going to college 20 years ago.  I regret my major.  Twenty years ago, I had energy and drive.  I wanted to move to a big city and become a hard-hitting journalist.  I’d even kicked around with the idea of going to graduate school.  Columbia was my chosen school for advancing my education.  But for many reasons I won’t mention here, after I earned my Bachelor’s degree,  I chose another path.  I got married.  I had a child.  Then, I got divorced, I got remarried and I had more children.  I made the decision to stay home with those children when I learned about the harsh reality of the American Work Environment….it is NOT family friendly.  I had trouble balancing the high-stress and deadlines of a newspaper career, with taking care of sick children and autism meltdowns.

The main point is, I am not the same person I used to be.  The world of journalism also isn’t what it used to be.  Jobs are few and far between….and the pay is just as lousy (if not more) as it was when I graduated in 1999.  Journalism is also one of the Top 10 useless degrees in the last five years. Anyone can be a journalist these days, and you don’t need a degree to do it.  My degree came before the internet took off, before newsrooms were downsized and before copy editing was outsourced.  Hometown newspapers are still thriving, but the pay is even worse than the larger newspapers.

Friday morning….my dream to escape the confines of “stay at home mom life” and “taking a new career path when the kids grow up” was shattered like a crystal glass on a tile floor.

So, I shut out the world and wallowed in my depression and self-loathing.  I cried and lamented about my life.  I reflected on all the time I wasted in college, of all the time SINCE college that I changed diapers, wiped noses and played with Play-Doh.  I cried when I thought about getting up the next morning to stand at a sink and wash dishes, scrub floors and do an endless pile of laundry…..again and again and again. For the rest of my life.

And now, here I am.  Another day older and another day wiser.  I still don’t know what I’m going to do, but going back to school for a change in career is not an option.  I’ve got to do some more soul-searching, some more crying and some more thinking about what I’m going to do once my youngest little person starts school.

I refuse to be useless.  And I flat-out refuse to stay at home and clean day in and day out until I die.

And by useless….I’m not insulting other stay at home moms…other “lifers” who choose to stay at home indefinitely. I completely understand and respect the path they have taken.  But I didn’t know that once I stepped off the working mom hamster wheel….it would be next to impossible to get back on.

I DO want to be there for my children when they need me…that’s why I can’t and won’t  go back to a newsroom or advertising department.  I want to have something that is uniquely MINE….I want my own paycheck, my own sense of self and my OWN sense of accomplishment away from the home and the children.  I’d like to contribute to our family income, and help us get out of debt….and into a bigger and better home. Basically,  I’d like a lot of things.

Anyway,  that is only ONE of the issues I’ve been dealing with for the past few days. I won’t go into the other issues, as they are far too personal to mention on this blog.

So….here I am.  I am determined to get myself out of this depression and carry on. Brainstorming and lots of caffeine is on the menu today.  I also disconnected myself from ALL social media so that I can stop comparing myself to others….and so I can be free of distractions while I try to figure out my next move.

Dear readers, drop me a line.  I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading my rant:)

Jenny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still Here

life-change-ahead

Hi All,

It has been a very busy couple of months. I realized a few weeks ago that I haven’t written a blog since September. Oh, the laziness!

Truth is, I just haven’t had much to say.

Haint Blue is doing well, and Kim and I have done a few podcasts here and there, as well as a student documentary.  We got a wonderful review from Vampires.com and he will be posting a follow-up interview soon on the website.

http://www.vampires.com/book-review-haint-blue/

On February 18, Kim and I will be on the Knights Pub podcast, and we are looking forward to that.  Also, on March 11, I’ll be (and possibly Kim will be) doing a book signing and reading at the local authors festival here in my town.

As far as the book goes, things are great!  As far as life goes, I feel some changes need to be made.  I have decided to go back to school.  I graduated from Auburn University in 1999 with a B.A. in Journalism, but I’ve been a stay at home mom for most of my time post-college. I’ve worked at several newspapers, and I’ve done freelancing…but as anyone with children at home knows….it is HARD to get back to an 8-5 job after you’ve been a stay at home mom for a long period of time.  Also, as much as I love to write, I want to do something different with my life.  I still want to write, and I will….but I want to learn a new trade.  They say you are never too old to learn, and I’m about to test that theory.

I’ve sent for copies of my college transcripts, and I have applied to a local community college because I plan to pursue either a two-year degree or a certificate.  Not sure which just yet, but I am VERY interested in holistic health, specifically, therapeutic massage. I have always been passionate about natural healing and essential oils, and I’m looking for a career free of deadlines, editors and crippling stress.  I’m getting older, and this old heart can’t handle what the young me could handle career-wise. I don’t want to pound the pavement and explain to every sexist male in charge why I’m “ready to go back to work” and prove to them that I can “handle a job and a family”  It is something I’ve had to do once before, and not only is it absolutely humiliating, I just don’t want to work for newspapers anymore. In case you haven’t noticed, the same kind of journalism I studied in college in the 1990s….and the journalism that exists today, are two very different things.  I won’t go into that, I’m just being honest.

I also want to help people.  I would love to be able to help people manage their stress, and get on the path of natural healing….but I’d also like to take what I learn and help children with special needs.

Children with special needs, specifically autism, have a GREAT deal of stress.  I am hoping that I can find some way to combine elements of therapeutic massage and knowledge of essential oils to help children with special needs and their caregivers overcome the constant stress in their lives.  As most of you know, I have a child with autism and I am always looking for ways to help my little guy navigate through this crazy world. I think I might have hit upon something.  Anyway, that’s my dream.  I would love to help people with disabilities, illnesses and injuries.  That is something that I would love….and they say you don’t truly work, if you are doing something you love.

So, back to college.  I enjoyed being a student in my youth, and I think I will more than enjoy it as an adult. I might be one of the oldest people in my classes, but I’ll be the most dedicated. I’m excited to begin this new journey….and I suppose I’m not truly happy unless something is changing.  I both fear change, and adore it.  Strange combination!

So, that’s my life currently.  I’m going back to school.  I will still write, though.  No way could I ever stop writing.  I am still working on several projects and possible book ideas  as well.

Well, y’all…that’s all from my little corner of the universe. Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written.

Don’t forget to tune in to The Knights Pub Podcast on Saturday, February 18 to hear Kim and I discuss the book! http://www.theknightspub.net/

Live Long, and Prosper….

Jenny