Saturday, February 25, 2012

An Unexpected Turn

This is an essay I wrote for my English class. I like how it turned out, so here it is!

Finally, I had a moment to relax. Running around like a chicken with its head cut off for three weeks had left me exhausted in every way. The kids were in bed. Most of my earthly belongings precariously perched on top of one another in teetering towers of boxes clinging to the walls of my new apartment. I flung myself onto my newly-acquired (from my parents) very large couch, closed my eyes and sighed.
How did I get here?
A little over a year before this, I had divorced the father of my children, sold practically everything I owned, and moved in with my parents. About nine months later, I started feeling it might be time to move on, but I resisted because I didn't know what I'd do, or where I would go. The pressure I felt kept growing, heavier and heavier, until I could hardly breathe, and I started to lash out at the people around me. So at the end of July, I scheduled an appointment with my bishop. I knew with absolute clarity that if I needed to leave my parents' house, I would need divine guidance. That week, my life took an unexpected turn.
I walked into Bishop's office with not a little trepidation. My hands fluttered like leaves in the breeze, my heart threatened to beat out of my chest, and my head swam like a fish. As I sat down and poured out my soul, relating how I loved my parents, but it would be best for everyone if we moved out, and how I felt it was time to move on with my life, I felt a little lighter. That feeling didn't last long, though, as Bishop started talking about the possibility of me going back to school. I had completed an Associate of Arts degree about 6 years previously, but it wasn't going to get me a job that would support my family. I decided nursing sounded fun, and that I'd like to go to school again, a place I'd always loved. However, the only place I could think of was back in Idaho, and the thought of moving so far away from my family again sent a wave of panic through me.
“Have you considered EA?” asked Bishop.
“Um... no. What's that?”
“It's a school in Thatcher.”
“Uh, sorry, never heard of that before.”
And with that he set out to tell me all about Thatcher, and Eastern Arizona College, and how many people in our ward had gone to school there, grown up there, or had family there. A strange mixture of peace and excitement flowed into me, making my hair stand on end and my blood pump faster. As I took his advice and spoke with some of the people he had mentioned, I felt like a snowball that had been pushed off the top of a tall mountain, rolling slowly at first, but getting faster and faster, and bigger and bigger, until it was unstoppable, and I knew moving was what I needed to do.
There was one problem. School started in three weeks.
Holy crud.
It was a flurry of activity from there. I applied to the school and got in. I applied for financial aid. I signed up for classes. I made several trips from Tucson to Thatcher and back again, looking for a place to live, moving things, and getting things situated. By some miracle I was able to find a two bedroom apartment for a good amount, one block from school, that didn't mind that I had four children coming with me. By some miracle, financial aid came through. And, by some miracle, I packed everything in my parents' house that belonged to us, and found someone to help me take it over there. I even got my best friend to come live with us for a week while I found babysitters for my class times.
One might have thought getting into school and moving a family of five in three weeks was improbable, if not impossible. I proved that notion otherwise, but I know why it worked. It worked because it was right. This was where I was meant to be. I would spend the next few weeks getting that confirmed over and over again, as free furniture showed up on my doorstep, and mystery people anonymously donated gift cards and a microwave.
Sigh. Everything will be just fine.

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