Keep calm & get Educated

​Growing up I remember my parents stressing the importance of education​, so I ​always ​knew I was going to college but I had no idea I’d drop out after my sophomore year. Interesting​ly, to this day I still recall the redefining moment when I knew I was ​absolutely ​going back to finish what I started. 
My supervisor came over to my desk and told me she wanted me to clean out ​the ​​closet​ in our section​. I’ve never been good at faking reactions, so I’m sure I glared at her as if she was Medusa or something else mythical, alien and equally as ​shockingly ​gruesome. 
I’m pretty sure ​too that ​she thought I wasn’t going to do it and I didn’t think I was going to either, especially because I was “in my feelings.” ​My thoughts were all over the place and I was on mental rapid fire:  ​Who did she think she was wanting me to clean out the closet? Better yet, why did she ask me to do it? Who did she think I was? Didn’t she know I was a clerk and not the cleaning crew? Didn’t she know that the closet was pretty much a catch all for junk and miscellaneous office supplies? ​Why was she really bothering me? ​
I felt the hateful five year old fighting to surface so beat a path to the ladies room to calm down and ponder my options. Upon returning I started mentally assessing my present situation as well as my life. 
* Q:  What was the goal? A:  I was on the clock and would get paid whether I was working on financial reports or cleaning out closets. Q:  How big of a deal was it?
* Q:  What’s the big picture here? A:  I had a decent job, which had a benefit that I wasn’t utilizing – tuition reimbursement. Q:  What could I do differently?
*​ Q:  Did I want a job or a career?
That day I knew I was going back to college and signed up for computer courses before the month was over. I worked full time and took courses part time. I had tons of homework and while I missed hanging with my friends, I also earned my first A in math (yes, in college, in my 20’s)! I didn’t think that was ever possible but my professor gave us an average of 50 problems twice a week ​to turn in​ and ​even ​had us work equations at the board in front of the class. Although I didn’t think all that was necessary, she insisted and eventually I learned to see the ​math ​patterns​, remember the formulas​ and ​began​ doing better on the quizzes and exams. I was beyond delighted and pretty proud of my​ progress​ as you can imagine. 
I persevered until I earned not only an Associate’s, but also Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees which that same company paid for (except for the last class). 
Does your employer offer paid tuition ​reimbursement ​opportunities, cross-training, upward mobility or other benefits? 
Does your employer​, ​apartment building ​or community ​have a gym or fitness center where you can work ​​out​ or take classes for free or at a reduced cost​? 
Does your housing development have a pool or clubhouse or walking trail that you can use to exercise​, ​meet people​ or take courses​?
What are you doing with your spare time​ other than binge-watching tv​ or videos? 
What will you do differently tomorrow?
Smiles across the miles.

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