Higher Education

37 Days to 50.

Tonight I went to an open house for the M.A. Program in Spiritual Psychology at University of Santa Monica. I have a very close friend who went through this program but I didn’t consider it for myself until a friend of mine in Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training told me how the program had changed her life. I’ve been thinking about how to continue learning and growing on the spiritual path that Kundalini Yoga put me on. I’ve also been thinking about how even though I LOVE Kundalini Yoga with all my heart I think it’s just a piece of a larger puzzle. I feel myself being called to be of service. People come to me with their sad sad stories because they gravitate to me. I am a teacher. I need to use my skills and my life to give back in a way that uses the best of me.

Of course their program is exactly geared to people just like me. Even though I certainly wasn’t the oldest prospective student in the room I felt the old dependable fears rising up. I’m way too old to go back to school. Who do I think I am going for a Master’s degree at this stage in my life? Why am I doing this- am I just looking for a safe place to hide for a few years? Is this about delaying change in my life? Is this the scared insecure little part of me’s desperate attempt to try to find stability for a few years?

I graduated from college at 24 instead of 22. I made some mistakes that delayed my college education- up to and including getting expelled and joining the Army National Guard to prove to the administrators at my university that I was willing to turn my life around. I had some shame about graduating so “late”. When I graduated with a degree in Mathematics I knew that my soul really wanted to be a fashion designer. My plan was to get a job as an actuary in a big city like Chicago or Newark and go to fashion school at night. My mother asked me when I graduated why I didn’t just go straight to fashion school full-time if that was my dream. I looked at her incredulously and told her that I was WAY too OLD to start over. How would I handle myself in classes with 18 year olds? I interviewed for actuarial jobs in both big cities, Chicago and Newark. When I saw what actuaries really do- sit all day behind a computer and crunch numbers, my heart sank and I knew that I would suffocate in a job like that. Eventually I did become a fashion designer, and I still really love it but I know that I am being called to serve in another way. To give back with my skills in a way that isn’t quite clear to me now.

I just don’t want to be that same 24 year old girl who jumps to denounce an opportunity because I’m too “OLD”. I bet when I’m 70 I’ll look back at 50 and think the same way as I do now about that clueless precious 24 year old girl.

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