The past decade has been a huge period of growth for me since my daughter’s life-threatening illness, my divorce, sad relationship pattern.
Some kind of cycle feels like it is coming to an end. I am starting to really, truly understand that we are all unlimited. Unlimited is our true nature.
Completing my first full marathon (26.2 miles) six days ago, the primary thing that blew me away was not my own resilience, because endurance is “my thing” and I do not doubt my ability to endure. What blew me away was all the people I witnessed, a few of whom I personally conversed with on the path, who had APPARENT limitations, in body or with age, but were all out there walking or running or whatever version of moving forward on a sunny day among over 14,000 people at the event. I saw men and women in their 70s to 90s out there moving forward in their own way. I met two inspiring women with a rare disorder (NF2) who were completing their marathon to raise awareness and raise funds for the life they were born into. I asked a few other folks why they were doing this, and one nurse said “self-inflicted torture?” A marathon can sure feel that way, and I had to dig pretty deep those last six miles to think of all those people who inspired me to be out there.
I was inspired by the 144 Team in Training members who raised $377,000 collectively for cancer research, converging at the event from chapters all over the U.S., doing something with the helplessness we have all felt on the road of caring for a loved one with cancer.
I am excited to be working toward a 180-degree career turn only a year away from age 50. I never expected to have an opportunity to pick up pieces of myself, my childhood dreams, but it is truly never too late to go back to school. School of life or academic school.
And so I will soon begin a several-year degree program in Environmental Conservation. This is a technical program that will challenge that part of me that has little confidence in my capacity to program a device or use sophisticated equipment, but I am open to learn to use that part of myself. The track I focus on will become clearer over time but there is potential for work in parks management, water conservation, sustainability education, etc. Anyone in my family of origin will get how excited I was to be told one of my required courses is Fish Ecology. I have literally had a fish tank (or bowl) in my personal environment continuously throughout my life, regardless of moving too many times to count. I also had posters of whales, fish, invertebrates covering my childhood bedroom walls (in the desert!).
There are many excuses and reasons I could give for why I never got that biology degree when I had a chance at age 18, but here’s to a new chance.
Disclaimer: I have not yet received my final financial aid award and have no idea yet how I am going to transport myself the 100 miles a day to and from classes, but these things will not stop me. These are life’s little dancing hoops.