5 Biggest Mistakes

In response to Holly's challenge:

These are the "mistakes" I'm ever so grateful for making. Holly wanted us to list five mistakes but three seems to be my limit tonight. I'm getting tired!!

College: Settling for less.

I really wanted to be a marine biologist when I graduated from high school. I loved my science classes, had a fascination for anything aquatic, and had dreams of swimming with the dolphins and studying the sharks in their natural environment. Of course, my grades weren't the best back then but I felt certain I could do it if I put my mind to it. After all, I got decent grades with very little effort. Put some studying into the mix and I imagined I'd be just fine.

There were a couple reasons why I didn't pursue this dream. Money was a big one. My dad was the sole provider for a family of seven but, apparently, he made too much money. I could get loans but not grants. Scholarships were, at that time, out of the question. I just didn't have the grades or the scores. Not then.

The idea of putting myself into debt didn't sit well. By chance a friend of my future husband worked for a consortium. If I picked a career and college from their list, they'd pay for it all. They'd pay tuition, provide gas money, and even cover the cost of textbooks. This was a deal too sweet to pass up. So I looked at their list and made a practical choice. Everyone gets sick and a medical assistant should be able to find a job easily enough.

My school of choice also happened to be the same institution my high school sweetheart attended. Bonus.

Career Decisions:

I graduated from college with a degree I realized too late I didn't want and had no intention of utilizing. My internship at a local doctor's office convinced me I wasn't cut out for a life filled with sickness and blood. Okay, mostly it was the blood that did me in.

It was my first in-office surgery and I passed out cold. Now, that might not sound so bad but fainting is not exactly what happens when I hit the floor. Oh, no. I have to seize. My eyes roll, the body shakes, and I happened to lose bladder control on that particular day. (Can't believe I just admitted that to the whole wide world....)

Now, I'm not epileptic. Since the age of 13 I've undergone numerous tests in an attempt to discover what exactly my problem is. The convulsions (or whatever you'd like to call these little fits) started when I had a serious allergic reaction that summer so long ago. If I'm seriously ill or seriously freaked out, my body just kind of does it's own thing. Not a good thing to have happen when you realize the sight of blood really freaks you out.

So, I walked across the stage, got my degree, and tucked it away. I took an administrative position that eventually led to my current position. This position provides so much more than a mere medical assistant job would have (no offense meant to those souls who find satisfaction in that field!). I have great benefits, a decent wage, and flexibility in my schedule. This job has given me the means to help my husband provide the life we both wanted for ourselves and our children. It has also given me the means to pursue another degree, one which means something to me.

Writing: Setting aside the Dream

Even before I wanted to be a marine biologist I knew writing was just something I was destined to do. I probably didn't decide I wanted to make it a profession until I was in my teens. Yet, it's so not a practical career choice! I was also aware of the uphill battle publishing would be and I wasn't sure I wanted to stake my future on something so uncertain. Thus Mistake Numbers 1 & 2.

Looking back I'm so grateful I didn't hold out for publication. I might have loved to write but it didn't mean I was ready to go pro. Not by a long shot. I had a lot of growing up to do. I needed to experience life and not just read about it.

Unfortunately, I didn't write while I pursued an education, a career, and a family. Other than the occassional short story or poem, I set it aside for several years. I found other hobbies to express my creativity. Yet, the writing never really let go, and now I'm ready to learn the craft and put forth the time and effort necessary to fulfill the dream.