Saturday, November 19, 2011

Coming Back

It took us 10 months to sell our house in Tulsa.  We couldn't even afford to buy a house even remotely where we were living before we moved.  We ended up buying a house in north Indio.  A great house, but what feels like in BFE.  It was almost double the price of our house in Tulsa.  

Craig and I are both working.  A lot.  We both have good jobs.  Me, at KDI Elements and Craig is at La Quinta.  After a year, he gets transferred to the Citrus course.  He's happy.  My job is good.  Times are good.  Building is going nuts here.  I am working long hours...usually til 6:00, sometimes til 7:00.  It's a great job, I loved what i did, but it was definitely super stressful.  

After a few years, the economy slows.  The recession starts to hit.  People are being laid off and I pray everyday that I am not the next one.  I survive several rounds of layoffs.  And then, on September 29th, in 2009, it happened to me.  It came out of left field.  I mean, I knew that things were slow, but it had been so long since anyone had been laid off.  I was devastated. 

I was both shocked and truly touched when several of my clients/builders rallied in support of me.  Trying to find ways to get me back to work.  It reaffirmed that I was good at what I did and that I truly established great relationships with so many.  

When it came down to it, I needed to figure out what I really wanted to do next.  For now, we had some money put away, but it wasn't going to last long.  When we were in Tulsa, for a fleeting moment, I considered going to nursing school.  I looked into it and quickly was talked out of it.  But,'s something I wanted to seriously consider. 

I tell Craig this is something I want to do.  But how were we going to make it work, financially?  I look for work and end up getting into some classes at College of the Desert, which wasn't easy.  I knew how the budget cuts in California had affected our education on the level that my kids were in (teachers getting pink slips, increased class sizes, etc), but now I was seeing first hand how it was affecting my ability to get into classes...almost impossible.  Not only are people losing their jobs, they can't even go back to school to try to re-tool themselves!  I remained persistent, though, and got the classes I needed.  

Can I just say that I have LOVED, LOVED, LOVED being back in school?  I was incredibly intimidated at first, but I have enjoyed every second of it.  I have made some amazing friends.  If only I "knew then what I know now."  What focus and determination I have now.  I continually look around my classes to see if I am the oldest one there (I am not.)  I am so proud to say that I have taken about a dozen classes over the course of the last 18 months...some online, some at night and a few during the day.  I have managed to maintain a 4.0 through all my classes.  I had to take a public speaking class last semester.  Something I DREADED.  I mean, talk about heart pounding outside of my chest, not even being able to hear myself as I am up in front of the class speaking.  Turns out...I'm not so bad at it.  In fact, at the recommendation of my professor, I entered a public speaking competition at the college and finished 2nd Place!  There's definitely something to be said for being a more "mature" student, but I have to say, I feel almost younger than ever!  

In the meantime, we ended up selling our house.  We could no longer afford it and were underwater by over $200,000!  Yikes.  We are grateful we were able to sell it and are now renting a great house in an amazing location.  I have never looked back.

So, fast forward to the last few months and now.  I apply to the nursing program last spring and get rejected.  The selection process for the program at the community college is lottery based.  I have the grades, but not the luck.  I am feeling defeated.  What if I keep trying and I never get in?  Meanwhile, my former employer calls me to come back, on a part-time basis.  I am reluctant to go back....and only because it's not what my focus is anymore.  I am actively looking for work in the medical field and trying to get into the program.  I did go back and am still there.  Working part-time, taking a class and managing the's been the perfect balance.

In August I re-apply to the nursing program.  I have been stressed and anxious waiting to find out.  Tired of the waiting to see what road I am going to take.

And then it happens, late last month....first I get an email from the College, saying I have been invited to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.  Then a few weeks after that, I get the email.  I have been accepted to the program!!  So, so, so excited!  It's gonna happen!  

Whew.  So, there it is.  My life, in sort of a nutshell, up until now.  My "Dear Diary" entries lumped into about 5 or so blog posts!  

And now that I am all caught up, time to watch a movie with the little one.  G'night!

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