My formal education ends with my graduation from high school and although that’s always been okay with me, at times, I’ve felt a need to justify it. College? Thought about it – at the long ago tender age of 18 in 1981, going to college was not a given. If I had to, I was ready to go to college to become a special-ed teacher. It was the only thing of interest to me at the time, never even imagining that people actually went to college to get a degree in writing…. However, at the time, there was no local college with the degree in special-ed, so I would have to go away. I was very set and comfortable in my life at home. Uprooting myself and being that independent, well, that wasn’t happening at 18 for me.
And, in the spirit of full disclosure and to be completely honest, I just didn’t see the value in putting that amount of time, effort and money into myself so that I could have a “career”. My true desire was to be a homemaker.
|Wasn't quite like this, but pretty close!|
Yes, I wanted the stay at home, raise the kids, make dinner, do the ironing, clean house, bake bread, and mow the lawn kind of life. And that is what I got. And I loved it. And feel incredibly grateful for it. I loved being a homemaker. I worked full time until our son was born and then had the gift and privilege of being a stay at home mom (working part time 12 hours a week) until he was 15 years old when I went back to work full time. I was incredibly blessed to have a husband who made that dream a reality for me and our lifestyle, which had us living within our means, made it financially possible to do so.
There were many opportunities in those 31 years for me to continue a “formal” education. I had the money, the means, and the full support of my husband to do so if I wanted to. And yet, I didn’t. And still don’t, even though I work at a University and am eligible to attend for free.
I won’t list all I’ve done, but over these past 31 years, I’ve taken a writing correspondence course, numerous online writing classes, and been part of number of local and online writing groups. I’ve read about and researched writing styles, methods and rules. I’ve subscribed to various trade magazines, followed online sites, authors and blogs. I designed and have my own writing web site and currently regularly write this blog.
Would a “formal education” in writing enhance my skills and abilities? Most certainly so. Would I feel a sense of having to justify that education with an output of a certain amount of writing, tasks met and goals to be achieved? Most definitely. It’s not that I don’t have all those things for myself, but it’s meeting them and achieving them in my own pace, style and path that I’ve chosen that works for me.
So I am content for now to continue weaving my own blend of informal, self-education and see where it leads me. It’s a level of investment in me that I can live with.