My mother loved to tell the story with great chagrin of how she had to go to the college I was attending in the early 1980’s to beg on bended knee that they not kick me out. They let me stay on with a warning of “Academic Probation.” I was really good at having a very fun social life, and not so great at attending class. I got by the next semester on a wing and prayer while still majoring in social life.
I decided to try another route, so I signed up for Cosmetology. I hated it! You see some gross stuff staring down at the scalp of a stranger’s head. I became a “Beauty School Dropout” four months into that program.
This time period created some real emotional defeat in my life. I had always been in the top of my class in High School, and it felt pretty easy. College was hard. It didn’t help that I really didn’t want to be there. For years I carried that failure paired with regret. I knew that I had been foolish with the gift that had been offered to me.
My father died in 2000, and an organization that my dad had belonged to knew that he had always wished for me to finish my college degree. They offered me a full scholarship, in my Dad’s honor, at the local university where we were living. I jumped at the chance.
I was older, and I was so ready! Because I had more responsibilities as a grown-up with a family, it was often hard. But I loved every single day of being a non-traditional college student. On my 40th birthday I stood in my jewelry design class celebrating inwardly because I knew I was right where I needed to be. When I graduated in 2005 I had a picture of my dad in my pocket and the rest of my family loving and cheering me on.
On my 40th birthday I stood in my jewelry design class celebrating inwardly because I knew I was right where I needed to be.
It was very redeeming for me, and I was thankful that I was given a chance that allowed me to come back and re-write the regret that I had carried for so long. Even after completing my degree and seeing many years pass by, I know my life isn’t over.
Do you have a regret that needs redemption? An opportunity for a new start or maybe a do-over of something you’ve left behind? You aren’t finished with your journey and you don’t have to be defeated by your past. Press on, with grit and grace!