One of my favorite quotes from Henry David Thoreau talks about castles in the air. I love it. I can identify with it. It seems to describe my life. Part of it is as follows:
"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."
I have spent my life as a dreamer. As a child I always imagined what I could do; as a youth I spent more time within the safety of my imagination than in the starkness of reality. As an adult, I think I woke up to the demands of real life; well, kind of. I have taken my responsibilities seriously and tried to accomplish the things that were asked of me. But I have always held onto dreams. I have always imagined what could be. I fear, though, it has often been without setting the goals necessary to achieve them.
I used to envision myself in cap and gown, surrounded by my family overflowing with pride in their mother. I never graduated from college. I chose to work full time to enable my husband to complete his degree. I don't regret that decision. It gave us full health insurance benefits to start a family, and the security of beginning our lives without student loans.
Several years back I decided to chase this castle in the air and I went back to school. I loved it. I have always loved learning. That is the real joy of school for me. I took several classes for a couple of semesters. When it came time to register for the upcoming semester, I somehow didn't feel like it was the right choice. I didn't know why. I just didn't. I received my answer a short time later. I received a phone call from the Stake President. He asked what I had going on in my life. I explained that my days were mostly free as my children were all in school then. What was I thinking?! He then extended a request for me to teach full time seminary at one of the local high schools.
It took me years to return to the goal of a college degree. When I did, I found that my credits were too "old" to account for anything, and that I would have to start from scratch. Somehow that didn't appeal to me. So I decided to become as self-educated as I could. I love to travel, so I have accompanied travel with learning as much as I can about the places I wish to go. I have begun watching lectures by college professors on DVD. I have not been afraid to try my hand at new skills. All of these things are putting the foundation underneath the dream of being well-educated. The dream may have received a little tweaking, but it is becoming a reality.