What Am I Upset About?

I am talking over lunch with my father and his wife. I am sharing my intentions to very slowly start my secondary education. My stepmother asks what I want to do. What I want to do in my career is not necessarily what is best for me. I got off that track a long time ago and I ought to stay off of it. I want to expand my mind, build some credits, and be able to pursue a degree when the children are bigger. Which is years and years away.

So she asks me where and I tell her I need to start at a community college. She tells me her son did that, got his masters and etc. In case I forgot to mention it, her sons are wildly successful people. I am not.

I started to get annoyed. She is talking about an institution I have not got access to, where all the classes are available in one location. I don’t have a community college like that where I live. I am trying to explain to her that it is not so easy, I haven’t got a lot of options and there are three paths to get to a degree in my previous career (which is not what I want to go to school for) and probably I cannot be accommodated on those basics where I live. But I get mad. She is insisting, you know, if her son did it…

I later wondered why I got upset and it hit me there are two reasons.

The first, because I am not interested in being compared to her family, again. They always tell me, so and so did this or that, and then forget to add things like “because their father paid for it all!” or “their wife took care of the house and the kids and the bills and everything!” or  “my mother actually gave me free childcare and cooked and cleaned!” They make it sound so possible, so easy, and I get frustrated wondering why I am not the superhero so and so is. Until I find out, sometimes years later, that there was this huge piece of the puzzle left clean out of the conversation.

The second reason is because of the middle example. Her son got his master’s degree while working full time because his wife was taking care of everything else, while working barely at all. He could trust her to do everything. I have no idea what that is like.

Must be nice.

I cannot go to another campus while my kids are small. There is no one to watch them and there is no other income to contribute to the household. I am all they have, and I cannot afford a weekly sitter without hurting the emergency savings I am trying to build.

I am accepted, I just need to placement test. I was looking up study information for math, which is my weakest spot and something I would be glad to test out of if at all possible. The classes are free. They are forty-five minutes away, not on the campus in town at all, and not online. I cannot go to two hour classes with a one and a half hour drive time. The kids have their appointments and I have not got the income for a sitter. This is what I am talking about. It is so frustrating. I am just trying to get off the ground and I can’t get out of the runway.

I need to just go to school and worry about it after I start. Or I never will.

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