Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cross Roads

So it seems like forever since i have really been able to sit down and write a long update. I think everyone has been pretty busy in our day to day lives, summer plans, and just enjoying life. So i thought since it is 8am and i am awake and the kids are asleep i would take some time and update on how life has been going.

I have been doing well. I think i have come to a cross roads in my life where i am not sure exactly which way i want or am suppose to go. I want to go back to school, my best friend is moving away, my kids are growing up too fast, and i feel a little left behind.

Lets start with going back to school. I think this is the harder one for me. I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I want to go back to school but at the same time i am still really unsure what i want to go for. Now most people wouldnt scold a 24 year old for not knowing what exactly they want but since i am not your avereage 24 year old i find myself in a hard spot. Maybe you guys can help me wade through this mess. I have 3 fields of interest each with their own difficulty in achieveing or following through with.

First i have a passion and desire to do photography. I love to take pictures! I take about 100 a day and never get tired of it. It makes me feel great when i know i am capturing a memory that will last forever. A little reminder of what was happening in that interval in our lives or the lives of my subject. We do have a collage that offers photography as a major but the biggest problem is how far can i take that degree. I have a family that needs my help financially (and God forbid something happen to my husband i would be the soul provider) and photography can be such an unpredictable field. I have watched and followed as several of you have persued dreams of your own company and watched how hard and how much struggle you have had. As much as i love it i just dont know if it is reasonable or responsible of me to choose this as my sole career.

Then we have Nursing which comes with its own difficulties. The biggest hurdle being that the 2 year program offered at our local college takes a lot of time. Essentially you have to be in class from 8 am to 8 pm 5 days a week the first year and then the second year when you start rounds from 6 am to 5 pm 6 days a week. Now this wouldnt be a problem if i didnt like my kids or had no desire to be in their life but since i kinda am fond of the little buggers i have a BIG problem missing so much of their life. Then there is also the problem of daycare and being able to afford it on just my husband's salary for 3 kids. If i am in class 12 hours a day there is no way i can get a job to be able to pay for the daycare cost that would come with being in school that long. It is like a catch 22. In order to get a better job making good money with excellent benifits i would have to suffer through 2 years of not seeing my kids and struggle hand to mouth since i wouldnt be able to work and that would stretch our paychecks to nothingness. I just dont know if it is worth it to me.

Then their is my last option. I would love nothing more than to go head first into the pool and get my Psychology degree. I dont mean just a bachelors either i mean full out doctors degree. Now this is a lot of time and a lot of money but it is spread out more and would leave me time to work as well as still having time with my kids. My classes would be in the mornings while the kids were at school leaving me only needing daycare for Sione'. I would be able to work several days a week to provide the daycare cost, and maybe even a little extra. The problem is that 1) the local college doesnt offer anything but a bachelors which means i would have to consider moving out of state to finish my degree, 2) it is a lot of school and would rack up a whole lot of debt on top of the debt i already have accumulated, and 3) i just dont know if i have the support {as far as my extended family} to accomplish this long haul.

So as you can see my crossroads is driving me insane. On top of it all Chelsie is moving at the first of the month to Charleston, SC. I am sad about this. Really really sad. Chels is more like my sister than a friend. We have been together for 8 years. Having each others backs through childbirth, death, break-ups,heart aches, make-ups, fights, hard times, and good. We are each others back bones and our kids are just like each others kids. I am going to miss my nieces and my boys will miss thier best friends. Jayden and Phabian have been together since they were concieved (yes we use to let them play together in the bellies lol). Phabian tells me all the time he is going to marry Jayden when he grows up and ya know what, i believe him. He loves that little girl more than any other friend.

Marcus and I plan on moving down there ourselves but that presents its own problems. Money, time, jobs, school, it is all difficult. Neither of us have fmaily there but it is a half way point between my family in Florida and our family in WV. I was born and raised here in WV and it isnt easy for me to just pick up life as i have always know it and move to a big new place where i know no one.

As of right now we have set a 2 year plan. In 2 years we plan on moving. We decided this because we want to test the waters. Starting next June i will be able to wokr full time only having to worry about daycare for one child (which as you already read brings its own complications with school and such). If we move to SC it would require both of us having a job to support us because the cost of living is higher and the income would be needed. So we want to test it out. Have a plan mapped out so to speak of how things would go once we moved. We also want time to get our credit scores together because once we decide to move we dont want to just rent anymore. We want to buy a house. We are at the stage in our lives, in our family where we want to settle down. We are ready to own a home and stop using someone elses. But that requires us to be able to first afford it and then be able to qualify for a loan. There are a lot of decisions to be made.

So what do you think? I need some outside input as everyone in my life is too close to the decisions being made to really give me uninfluenced advice. I just feel a little stuck. So many decisions to be made and what seems like not a lot of time ot make them.


Mom24 said...

Oh Courtney! (((Hugs))) Really, really hard, huh?

To me, my 2cents, says to keep photography a hobby, at least for now. You're right, it's too hard to build a stable income in photography. I think nursing is a wonderful career. The money's good. The hours can be fantastically family-friendly, lots of positives. That schooling schedule though? Brutal! Are you sure that's the only option where you are? I can't even imagine how hard that would be. The other thing I like about nursing is that it gives you the option down the road to get that psychologist degree.

Best of luck with all of it. So, so hard.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I think I came across your blog on Halala Mama and just started poking in here and there. I really feel you having gone through similar myself. Before you make a decision, you really need to think long and hard about what you really want to do, what will really bring you happiness, and what is the best thing for your family.

The first thing is to look at your 2 year plan. If your plan to move to a new state in 2 years is realistic to you, then now is probably not the time to start a 4 year program in photography or psychology (if 4 year degree is what you are thinking for those 2 courses). I say this only because you may find that once you move, working will put your schooling back a few more years, which might turn into a perpetual cycle of I'll go back when.... The other thing you need to consider is being able to find a similar program at a college in your new area that will take your completed credits as transfers.

To me, nursing should be more of a calling than a decision; if it is really in your heart to become a nurse, then you should definitely go for it, but if the decision is more about a 'good' career choice, then my advice is to really be sure that you have the commitment to finish it because any nursing program is going to be extremely demanding (I'm a nursing student myself).

The other option you may have if you are interested in nursing is becoming a CNA (some places have intense 6 week programs), then finding a job somewhere that offers tuition assistance for you to go get the BSN. That will also give you a good taste of the field to see if you will enjoy it.

If you REALLY love photography and that is truly your first choice, then you should try to make that a reality for you. Yes it can be unpredictable, but if you want something badly enough you will find a way to make it happen. You could start to take some basic classes now and try to start a little sideline business, sell photos on etsy or something like that and see where it goes. If it feels good and you really love it then pursue it!

If you really love psychology, and you want to get the PhD, you can do that too! Nobody says that if you decide to go back to school now you have to jump into some program that is going to be demanding, or that you have to finish in 2 or 4 years.

If you really want to relocate in 2 years, then maybe you should work as much as you can now (I don't know if you are a SAHM or working now), to get the credit issues straightened out and save as much as you can so that you can buy when you move, and possibly not have to work full time due to the financial needs. Then when you move you may be able to start a program, or finish a program then.

I feel like I am babbling on and on and on, so I'll stop now. I hope that helps even just a little bit. Just remember that you have to look at your big picture and nothing is limiting you if you have an open mind about how to get to the end result :)