One thing that I am looking forward to among all the negative in my life right now is going back to school. Actually, I am not looking forward to projects and papers, but I am always excited to increase my knowledge. One benefit of working in a University setting the past 19 years is I was able to obtain a graduate degree and a post-master’s certificate with little out-of-pocket cost. I have been accepted into another post-grad certificate program this Fall – just waiting for the tuition remission paperwork to be approved. It’s only two semesters – four classes total – so even though the work will be intense it will be over quickly unlike my Master’s Degree (I hope) and it is related to my job and the work I do already.
I try to take advantage of all that working at a large university has to offer. There are always lectures, seminars, presentations, training classes. I was recently trained to have my office serve as a “safe space” for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) students. Basically, when a student is in crisis they will be directed to my office in the library where they can stay with me until a counselor arrives to help or I walk them to a counselor. The training was an eye-opener. We all deal with struggles in our lives, but many of these students deal with so much more. The training at times was heartbreaking, just listening to the participant’s stories and it was so very educational too. I was in the throes of my heartbreak when I took it and it put everything into perspective for me. Persons in the LGBTQ community have more courage walking out the door every morning than we could ever imagine and understand. People don’t harass me or act repulsed or threaten me when I walk with a boyfriend. I don’t have to explain my choice of partner or why I choose to be heterosexual. It’s easy for me to blend into society, I can’t imagine how difficult it would be if I had to encounter such hate on a daily basis. Suicide rates are very high, particularly among transgender students. There is so much false information out there and sadly so much hate too.
My personal relationships, both with family and the men in my life, have been draining and challenging to say the least. And although my job kicks my ass many days, I am lucky that I love what I do and I work in a place that I can further my education and for a supervisor who encourages me and motivates me to branch out and learn and participate. She trusts me to represent her and the library on many campus committees. I’ve learned so much in my position. I am also lucky to have a circle of friends that support me and my choices in life as well.
Someday I hope my personal life will balance out as well and there will be some peace among the chaos. I still have hope with VG. He’s a good guy and we are talking more. I am getting close to ready to see him again and thinking about it makes me smile. And it is so nice to smile just a little more again. On a funny side note VG offered to take me school shopping along with his two young grandkids – he is a year younger than me and yes a VERY young grandpa lol. Let’s just say life got in the way at a very early age for him and for his son 🙂 It’s pretty cute actually and we joke around about it a lot.
And as someone who works in education my advice is to never stop learning. Take a class, seminar, listen to a lecture, see what your local university or community college has to offer. Take a cooking class, exercise class, etc., just whatever you can do to just expand your mind. Even if you think you do not have the time or the energy – you do! I encounter students of all ages, abilities, family responsibilities, financial backgrounds, you name it and I am in awe of how they manage to get it done. And I never hear them say it wasn’t worth it. It may not always be easy – but it will be worth it.