It’s never too late to be who you might have been. George Eliot
I like that quote, but I wonder if it is true. I’m a mother of two and I’ve got 17 years of experience in a field that I left (permanently, I thought) three years ago. I’m “not a spring chicken” anymore, to quote my more colorful relatives. (Yes, they have quite a gift with words!)
I started college in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech at the urging of my parents, step-father, and several other well-meaning family members. “You can make a great living at that,” they said, completely overlooking the fact that I really wasn’t sure that I was all that interested in it. What I loved at the time (and for many years earlier) was marine biography; my goal/dream was to work with Jacques Cousteau and/or to study sharks. I excelled at biology and things of that nature, and I didn’t do so well in calculus and technical things. What possessed my family to urge me into engineering still puzzles me; looking back I realize that all of my strengths were in biology, languages, writing – not maths and physics.
Oddly enough, I have since conquered my math phobia – I earned Bs in two semesters of calculus in the last year or two. I’m currently studying computer science, having long since realized that I’m too practical to go into marine biology now. Yes, I’ve talked myself out of it. Besides, the big lure for me is gone. Jacques Cousteau is long dead. I lost that dream a long, long time ago, while I was still studying engineering.
What I wonder now is this: is it to late to be who I might have been? Is it too late to be the person I might have been had I followed my own star, listened to my own heart and mind rather than those of my well-meaning but misguided family?
I don’t know. It looks like I’m going to go back to work soon instead of back to class. My husband’s having a hard time with his job search and one of us has to go back to work. If I do that and take yet another semester off, I don’t know that I’ll make it back to school to be a programmer. I don’t know. I hate to think it is too late to get off this path that I found myself on accidentally after I left engineering. I want to find a job that doesn’t make me wince in the morning when I realize it is time to get up. I want to find something that I love, that enables me to enjoy the time I spend at work.