Should I go back to school? I just got a Facebook message from a new friend saying she is going back to school. I have been saying I am going to start taking the classes to get my TESOL certification. This requires 18 credit hrs of graduate level coursework. But I have not started the process. I was excited, but at the moment I have diverted my attention back towards growing my business. When I stop and think that the sole responsibility of supporting myself will fall on my shoulders in a few short months I am at a bit of a loss. I have never done this. Just turning 48 less than a month ago, I went from being supported by my parents to co-habitating with my former spouse. I have never lived alone. I have never been the only one to support myself. I did work full-time until we had our first son. So we both contributed equally for several years, but he always made more than I did. A big part of me does not want that responsibility. Part of me can’t believe at this age that it has never happened. A large part of my focus was on raising my children and being a family. That is where my energy went. Now I think. How does one (me) even go about such a task? How many hrs do I want to contribute to earning money? How much money do I need? What kind of lifestyle do I want? I am not interested in just following the rat race prototype. I don’t even know how much money I earn now. But I know it is not enough to survive on. I have money in the bank but eventually it will all be depleted if I keep using it as my sole (or almost sole) source of income. I am not motivated by money. I need to get back to looking at my relationship with money as I had been doing for awhile. Maybe that can be a topic my Jungian counselor and I discuss. Am I following in my mother’s footsteps in that regard? When she worked outside of the home, she was a very hard worker. She never indicated that she was worried about money. I never knew anything about how much money came into the house. I did know things like, it was important to reuse tea bags, and baggies, to save money. I remember the ceiling cracking and the grey duct tape that covered the crack and how I always worried that the mice I heard scurrying in the old farm house ceiling would fall through. I knew the houses we lived in when she was not married were owned by my grandpa. And we lived there for free. My mom and I were not close. I remember her telling me I would have to wash my own underwear out if I started my period. That is all that was said about the topic of this thing that really scared me, bleeding. I remember her old ugly boyfriend and how they slept together downstairs in her bedroom. How they both smoked. How one night as I camped out on the living room floor, the room just outside of her bedroom she confided in me late at night that she might be pregnant. As a middle-schooler I was bothered by this idea. Especially considering the man she shared her bed with. Nothing more was ever said about it. No baby ever materialized. I remember the guys she dated after the proposed baby daddy. One was quirky and interesting, tall and eccentric, and appeared to be rich. I can almost remember his name. The other one, nice, mainstream, middle-class, not like us. There was talk of marriage. He gave her an engagement ring. Then we never saw him again. Nothing was said. No questions were asked. I just remained vaguely curious for awhile then went on with my life. We moved around a lot, 17 times. I never questioned that either. Just packed my belongings one more time. There is actually only one time I remember anything to do with packing. It was unpacking I believe, when I was five, at a different old farm house. This one had a big dusty grey propane tank outside and a Charlotte’s Web spider hanging outside my bedroom window, which terrified me. The propane tank I loved. I would sit atop it imagining it was an elephant. I pretty much felt alone even though I had a brother and sister. They were connected – close in age – and I was the baby of the family, wanting to tag along, being told I was too young. So I stayed quiet played pretend, climbed trees, rode my bike, or drew pictures.
Copyright Suzanne Norton 2017