I will admit it; I am forty-six years old and I have a bogeyman. I have not been afraid to talk about it. In fact, I talk about it a lot, probably too much; however, I have often taken the long way to avoid dealing with confronting what lies behind the door. I did go to college, but in 1987 I was offered a dream job. A once in a lifetime, this is it kind of opportunity. I chose to stay and turn my summer position into a career. I was very good at it, eventually opening my own successful boutique-advertising agency. In no way have I ever viewed the lack of finishing school as a failure. Twenty-seven years ago it was your portfolio and experience that landed the best jobs, not a degree, and the job gave me a portfolio that could lead me into any design job I wanted.
I have often thought about going back to school, but my sons were little and I was busy running the agency. Even after I retired from marketing, it seemed it would be an overwhelming task to accomplish. My experience and expertise was more than enough to land a great job but I could feel the lingering, “If I had a degree, I could…” Though I did not know what I would put at the end of that sentence. Maybe teach; maybe get an upper management job in a corporation, even though I did not want one. I felt the “lack of” as an undercurrent and when you feel lack you attract more lack. This was something I was going to have to face and I hoped the mere action of taking the step would release whatever issue I was stuck on around my degree.
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” ~ Joseph Campbell
While sitting in the admissions office waiting for my appointment, I opened Wayne Dyer’s book, I Can See Clearly Now. It seemed very appropriate that this was the book I chose to pick up today, as Dr. Dyer was both a professor and the book was about something beyond him that somehow wove the tapestry of his life together leading him from one thing to another.
When I was called into the office, the admissions director reviewed the transcript I presented her. The silence was deafening. She finally looked up and said, “You have eighty-four credits; you are almost done. I did not realize you had been to school before or I would have sent you straight to an academic advisor.” I jumped in to explain that the degree I got did not matter to me I just wanted to know the fastest way to the initials possible. I tried to sound confident but I could hear in my voice my fear of having to retake the SAT’s again and spending a year in remedial classes on top of how many years I would need to finish my degree.
Do you know those moments when you realize your whole life might actually be a journey that has been preplanned and you wonder why you ever spent a moment worrying or thinking you could have possibly take a wrong turn? This became one of those moments. The admissions director smiled and said, “You have taken all of your first year courses and your credits from Ringling College of Art and Design have you set up for a BFA easily. You could actually graduate in a year if you go full time. You can start classes next week for the summer session.”
Poof, it was gone! The big bad bogeyman, my personal Boo Radley was kind, gentle, and not so scary at all. After 27 years, five miles from my house, in the summer that my oldest son leaves for college, my state college is offering me a pathway to obtain my degree.
As I got in the car and looked for my phone to call my son with the news, I read DR. in front of Wayne Dyer’s name and I thought, “Why not?”
What cave have you been afraid to enter on your journey? Have you ever put off knocking on the door or your fear?
Take three steps today to become friends with your Bogeyman.
- Decide knowing is better than not knowing what lies behind the door.
- Stay in the moment and anticipate that the Universe is conspiring to help you.
- Step forward and introduce your self.
Chances are on your side that you will get a much better welcome than you ever imagined.
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