Grateful, but uninspired and frustrated with my current work situation and continued turbulence, I started looking for other employment. I work for a labor union that represents one employee group at one company.
Turns out, I’ve been grounded. I haven’t done enough to stay current. My portfolio is low on the things employers want right now. I can’t get a new job in my field or anything close to it that pays enough. I’ve tried.
I decided to pull out my old research and revisit grad school. The kids are growing up, my mom’s health won’t stay good forever, and the new husband’s job is going well (he’s more sure about this than I am)…. It’s not now or never, but it’s not the worst time either.
Oh – that one company that my one employee group works for? It declared bankruptcy earlier this year. It was probably some sort of shell-game, but I wasn’t sure at the time.
It’s time to alter my flight path.
I considered several things but decided on a Master’s in Public Relations (my undergrad minor). I was going to go part-time and online. Well, there’s no financial aid for that. So, I applied for full-time enrollment knowing that I could go part-time if I had to. My faculty adviser told me that graduate assistant applications were due soon. I quickly pulled something together. They liked what I had to say and offered me a position.
The graduate assistantship allows me to complete my degree in less time, with a lower level of student loan debt, and contribute more in class while I explore the depth of courses and abundance of opportunities afforded to on-campus students. At least that’s what I told them. Honestly, it’s a way for me to get caught up, get more help if I need it, and, hopefully, soar above other candidates when I finally apply go back to work.
It also means that I have to work 20 hours (doing what is TBD) and drive four hours per day. (Think Audible.com would sponsor me?) The kids have extra-curricular activities. There’s meals to cook, a yard to keep up, and a house to clean (not to mention pay for). Academics don’t scare me. It’s being a good mom, a good wife, and homemaker that’s going to be the real challenge.
The parking break is off and we’re on the runway.
I am a little over a month away from my first day of school in over 20+ years. I’m excited. I’m petrified. I’m overwhelmed. This is either the bravest or the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.
I’m ready for take off.