I have loved sharing my odd, crazy life with you, all the ups and downs and twists and turns that make up my story. Last week was my one year “blog-aversary.” It does not really seem like I have been hanging out here for a year already. It has been an eye-opening journey for me.
Most of my writing has been past-tense up to this point. I’m getting ready to start an adventure that will be ongoing for quite awhile. I can’t believe I am saying this, but, “I am less than two years away from sixty and, if the financial aid works out, I am going back to college!” There, I said it… sort of out loud. It kind of makes it seem a little more real, (although not any less scary,) and suddenly with a whole lot more accountability! Since you are all on the boat with me now anyhow, I know you will be expecting updates! I just sort of hope that failure does not happen to end up being one of those updates!
So, on that cue, I am going to take inspiration from those determined petunias that I told you about last fall. Do you remember them? (See my blog post from last August, “Sometimes Hope Takes a Second Glance.“) For those that are just jumping on the boat, I will give you the back ground on these persevering little beauties.
I had two bare flower pots that I just pulled everything out of in the fall of 2016. We had a fairly mild winter that year. Then in late May of 2017, there, in one of those formerly barren pots, all alone with a couple of weeds (I think) was this one adorable little purple petunia. It had been hiding somewhere in that barren flower pot all winter. I saw the one single flower become two, then three, then five, then nine; and eventually a full pot of blooming blossoms from that single little sprout. I was able to enjoy those flowers all summer and up into the fall.
Then, late last fall, when I was cleaning up the flower pots, I pulled all of the “seemingly” dead plants from that pot. I stashed it out behind the garage and stacked a couple of other pots on top of it. The winter we had last year could definitely not be deemed “mild.” I did not even consider that there could be anything living inside of that flower pot.
I have not really done anything with the flower-pot garden this year. I did actually weed the flower bed and straighten up the pots. I have kept the weeds pulled out of the pots, but have not done much else this summer with flowers. (There is the snake thing, along with it has been very hot.) Around the first of July, I was cleaning up around the yard and around the garage (even with fear of snakes buzzing through me.) I pulled these three flower pots out from behind the garage. The top two went to the recycle bin. The crazy thing was, when I pulled the second pot off from the bottom one, there, at the back of the pot, was one green plant with a tiny purple flower on it.
Yes, this is the very same purple petunia as last year! So not only did this plant live with two other pots stacked on top of it, in a place with very little sun, it also survived the crazy freezing cold that we had this past winter. Plus, the cold weather from last winter also had me doubting my own faith that this little plant would come busting back again this year. At the end of my blog last year, I wrote, “ I am confident enough to say that I’ll be posting another blog about this self same plant come fall!” Well, it is not fall, but I am amazed at that “self same plant!”
I sort of feel like that little plant that was hidden under the two flower pots, behind the garage, out of the sun and in the cold. I have been living with the fear that the limited remainder of my vision will go so badly that I have sort of stopped living in motion. I have been all cozy and tucked away in my nice, dark corner. That is beginning to suffocate, so I, also, like that little plant, am pushing my way back up through the dry, compacted soil and am ready to start growing and blooming again.
I cannot say that I know how this school thing is going to work. I can say that I am willing to try. I prayed about it and God worked everything out so smoothly. I want to be able to improve and sharpen my writing skills because I want to use this platform and the gifts that He has given me for God’s glory. With the limitation on driving, and the limitations that my field vision loss provide, I have decided to do online classes. I do not know how the complication of stress (because I am an old person trying to do a young person’s thing!) and the computer time will affect my vision. The problem there is that if I am on the computer for very long, I end up with a cluster headache behind the eye that has the better vision. I am hoping that between being able to obtain text books in audio format, and the use of my speech recognition software for my computer, that I can alleviate the headaches by pacing myself, sort of like I do with the blog.
In speaking with my “success coach” at school, she tells me that I will only have to actually come to school on a very limited basis. Some professors like for you to come to the testing center to test out; and yet others allow you to complete the class completely online. She is confident that I will be able to succeed. I certainly hope so; because this is one girl that does not take failure well at all.
At first this was just a thought, brought on by the new opportunity for adults to return to college provided by the state of Tennessee. The more I thought about it, the more appealing it became, especially when I learned I could do online classes. I checked into everything. I filled out the beloved FAFSA, (although I have been doing Haley’s for three years now and I am pretty friendly with it.) I applied to college and was accepted. It was still not real until I actually went to campus and spoke with an adviser. She helped me believe that I can do this.
Once everything was sealed down (to hopefully include the financial aid, which I am still not positive about,) I started to doubt myself. Can I really do this? Will I fail? Am I too old? I have been out of education for nearly thirty years anyhow. Will I fail? Will it stress the good vision that I have remaining? Will I fail? Is this just a tool of the evil one to distract me from the things I am doing that are good? That, I do not want to fail at. Can I even learn Spanish? (Seriously people! Can I?) This is crazy! As you may see, the biggest fear is definitely failure. Oh yes, I was beating myself down.
Then I found that little purple flower surviving, and flourishing, against all odds. It did not just say, “Can I do this?” It did. It did not give all kinds of excuses to avoid trying. It just did. I don’t think that little flower ever had failure in its sights. It just did the thing that it does. It bloomed where it was planted… again… and now, again.
I want to do this. I want to bloom in the garden where I am now planted. I want to make a difference. I want to do my best. It is a different garden than I ever envisioned myself in; but with God’s blessing and the help that I receive from family and friends, I am certain that I will be able to make this new dream come true.
I will count on God to go before me and make the way straight and safe. I will, absolutely, give Him my all and commit this journey to Him.
So yes, I am going to attempt it. We will see where it leads!
“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plan.” Proverbs 16:3