Yesterday’s situation at school reminds me of a situation I had in high school.
I was 18 when I had Paige, and I had only one term left to do in high school if I was to complete my OACs for university in time to apply for the fall semester.
Paige was born January 10th and I was due back at school about a week after that. Needless to say, I didn't want to return. Anyone who has had a baby probably knows that returning to work or school so soon after is not ideal.
I just wanted to stay home and learn how to be a mom.
But my mother didn’t let me quit. She reminded me how close I was to the end and that it’ll be harder for me to return if I take a break.
So I returned while still nursing, breast pads in check, and I finished my final term.
I was accepted into The University of Waterloo that fall, and although I did not stay more than a few weeks (I decided I’d rather stay home to raise my girl than to spend my time in class in a different city), I returned to UW when Paige was older and I graduated my 4 year program in 3 years with honours. And a few years prior to that, I had earned my Social Services diploma at Conestoga College.
So while I’m grateful that my mom encouraged me to stay in school to finish because it helped to secure my future choices, I also learned that timing is everything.
We’re ready when we’re ready and not one moment before.
I needed and wanted my time with Paige, and so I made choices that gave me that freedom, even if that meant putting off another important goal (being a university graduate) temporarily.
My extended family at the time judged my decision to quit UW, and I was told I’d never return and that I was jeopardizing my future.
They were wrong. I did exactly what was right for me and I returned when it made sense in my life.
I’m sharing this as a reminder that my decision to stay in high school was just as valid and aligned as my decision to leave university, and the same is true for you regardless of what decision you’re facing.
Our choices reflect our current awareness and resources, our available time and energy, and our overall vision and goal. All of these things are fluid. They’re always changing and we can only do what we can do.
My teacher’s encouragement yesterday was exactly what I needed in order to keep going, and my mom’s insistence that I stay to finish my last term of high school was the push that I needed as well.
But nothing or no one could have changed my decision to quit university after just a few weeks of classes so that I could stay home with my girl and be the one to raise her.
I knew inside myself what mattered the most and that’s what I did.
The same holds true with the republication of my book. Nothing or no one was going to stop that magic train when it came through, and I was willing to fall behind in French to honour that calling.
We can do it all, sure, but we can’t do it all at once. There are limits we must face as humans but that's no reason to get discouraged. It's incentive to prioritize what yields the highest return for you at this particular time in your life. And the return could be anything that matters to you.
For me, the return on quitting university to raise my girl was the investment in our relationship and our bond, and plenty of quality time together while she was young. And the return on slacking in French in favour of working on The 10 Year Anniversary Edition of The Poet & The Butterfly, was a book I'm so proud of, and the realization of a long-time dream of mine: an online store filled with my style of art.
I believe we ALL know what we want and need at every stage throughout our life, but sometimes it’s hard and takes time and support to discern what that might be. But we still know. The answers are always there.
We just need to learn how to tune into that inner knowing and learn how to trust our own voice over another’s voice and opinion on us or our life.
People may mean well but they aren’t you and no one else but you can know what’s required of you in this moment or the next one.
Whatever you choose, it’s ok and it will be ok. You can always choose again at any time. You are not bound to who you once were. You can be a new you right now.
And you can choose not to choose right now if that’s what makes more sense, just like I did a few days ago. I thought I had 4 choices in front of me with regards to school (which I named "A, B, C, D" on Facebook, but the next day I discovered a 5th... my “E” ... which was to not make such an important decision until I felt ok and sure. Shout out to Gayle, Valerie and Melanie for suggesting this to me.
You will know when you know. The answer WILL come. And then you can pass through that next door of your life with the certainty you did not even have just one moment before.
With all my love,
(Cute picture taken from the French dictionary I was using in class)
P.P.S. If an erotic, poetic, insightful and vulnerable real-life fairytale is your kinda thing, I invite you to explore my soul's offering, The Poet & The Butterfly Collection.