1,000 miles: step 42

I’ve been changing my mind.

A lot.

These days.

I’ve always thought of myself as stubborn. That what I say I will do is the final word. It’s not.


Lately, I’ve been wondering what I want to do with my college education. More specifically, what am I getting out of it? Is spending my mom’s custodian salary worth chasing my dreams? What are those dreams again?

On my room hangs a picture of a fireworks celebration at the University of Virginia. I have it labeled “GOAL.” I’ve had the picture since my 9th grade year of high school. But high school was centuries ago. This year, I no longer feel tenderness towards UVA.

I’m not as comfortable with making a living as a teacher. Or a writer. Or a professor who writes. Whatever the case, I won’t be making money.  This never vexed me before.

Today, one of my teachers rephrased my money question for me: can I manage happiness with “lack of money”?

I want to tell myself, that if anyone can make it work, that would be me. Because I’m already there. I’ve been here since the day I was born to a 15-going-on 16 year old mother. And if God granted mothers, I would choose her all over again in a heartbeat. I can’t imagine it any other way: rich or poor, she’s mine.

When there are days like this (and there are many), it all goes back to Mami. Being a first generation student, a college education is dear to me. Education is dear to me. In my mother’s struggles to pay the rent, I have reason enough to be patient, to endure these many years of college.

If only my heart weren’t so fickle.

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