For years D has been asking me if I will go back to school and get my Master's degree someday. I've always responded, "Maybe... when I figure out what I want to be when I grow up!" If I'm going to get my Master's, I want it to be in whatever I KNOW I'm going to do. I don't want to get it and wind up in some other field (sort of like my bachelor's).
I started out in college as an elementary/special education major. I did two entire years studying to be a teacher. But my classroom experiences never felt right, my schedule was tight (I was to have only ONE elective over 4 years), and I just didn't feel called to teaching. After some pretty amazing faith experiences, I opted to change my major to Theology and minor in Writing. I wanted to become a youth minister, I decided.
Well, I graduated (with a lump of private school loans--yay, fun!) and was a youth minister for 2.5 years. But, like teaching, it just never felt right. I worked the next few years in various jobs (leasing assistant at an apartment complex, child care worker at a gym), until I landed the job that I have now: as a proofreader for a Christian publishing company. In some ways, I'm using my degree AND my minor in this position (although the company's audience is primarily Evangelical Christian and my degree is in Catholic theology). Still, I've never thought of this job as a "forever thing." I enjoy it, but this is not my career.
Sometimes I've thought about journalism. It would be awesome to work for Catholic News Service or something like that. Other times I think about getting back into ministry--maybe elementary or preschool-aged instead of teenagers. Or maybe I would just make a full-time career out of writing novels, magazine articles, etc. someday.
Every year our region of the Diocese puts on something called "The University." There are, like, 80 classes offered during Lent on various Church topics, from scriptures to modern-day issues. I had attended a class years ago, but not since. This year, I planned to attend at least one. I chose one titled, "A Very Special Mary." I wanted to learn more and know more about Mary, and it was at a parish close to home, so why not? Well, I loved it. The presenter wasn't the best, but I LEARNED something. And I walked out of there saying, "Man, I really want to go back to school." I would love to study the scriptures more in-depth. I would LOVE to become a professor of theology.
Then my head interrupts my heart: "But wait! How will you do that?! You still have student loan debt from your bachelor's degree! Master's degrees in Theology don't come cheap! You can't go to a state school for it! How will you raise two (maybe more) children and go to school? Wasn't the plan for you to be a stay-at-home-mom? How could you pull THAT off?"
My head has shot down my heart. But my heart is hopeful. I'm prayerfully asking God to guide me if this is what I'm meant to do. I hope it is, because I can't even begin to explain how excited I feel about the possibility of going to school and learning so much more. I told D last night, my #1 regret in regards to my education is NOT the debt that it put me in, but the fact that I blew off/did the bare minimum in most of my classes. I wish I'd paid attention more, especially for how much it cost me!