If I had a time machine, I would go back in time and tell 1998 me to go to the Financial Aid office and ask for the 411. I would explain to nineteen year old me that not having a kid, or any major debt, or a life to speak of, was the perfect time to attend college. And that as present me, I would take it as a serious favor.
Of course, that would change everything and break the space time continuum, but I’m not going to dwell on that. Instead, I’m dwelling on hindsight being twenty-twenty.
The irony of this being that I went to school to get better at writing, and have had almost no time to work on my craft.
I steal what I can. Last weekend my father-in-law came up and took Toby swimming with my husband, and I soaked up two hours and wrote 3200 words. Next week I’m taking a continuing education class on copy editing, which may sound boring but will definitely improve my craft a lot. I’m excited to be taking the class with two of three in my writers group. I think it will be a great exercise for everyone.
I can feel my life changing on a daily basis. I thought I was prepared for school, but I wasn’t. For the past three years I worked full time, got home, ate supper and spent time with family, and then when Toby went to bed I wrote. I thought that school couldn’t possibly be more work than that.
I was so naïve.
I got so tired that I bailed on a signing event a couple weekends ago because I couldn’t even. The thought of driving for two hours alone made me want to curl up and cry. I wanted to go, but the level of homework and exhaustion combined grounded me.
Knowing I have two years of this to look forward to, before moving on to my BA and other challenges, are hard facts. Knowing that my future books are slowed to a crawl is tough to accept. No matter how many times I try, I still cannot do ALL THE THINGS, and it still frustrates me.
Limitations are what help us grow, though. I keep thinking that growth happens when we have unlimited time and resources. Honestly it’s when we’re stopped from growing that we push the hardest. Even though it’s hard, and things crop up outside of school and test you, and then things in school crop up and you realize you’ve been doing it wrong, you go on. You just dust off and try harder.
And sometimes, if you’re very clever and your son and your husband are playing a video game together, you may have time to write the occasional blog post.