Holy crap has it been a week. I don’t even know how to process all of my thoughts adequately. So if this post seems rambly please forgive me.
So I guess I should begin at the beginning. I’ve been obsessed with paleontology and dinosaurs as long as I can remember.
There’s video of me standing on my parents fireplace rattling off facts about T-Rex as if any family member in the future would be interested in this.
If you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would answer “Paleontologist” without any form of hesitation or doubt.
Fast forward 25 ish years. I’m a mom of two young kids. I’m taking free online courses on paleontology, and suddenly my passion is rekindled. I’m interested in the thought of returning to school but due to the dumpster fire that is my transcript from college I have no hope.
Tangent time! When I was in college I started dating a guy, as college students often do. Rather than give a detailed account of the hellish nightmare that was the six years that followed, I’ll instead do a recap. Guy was a huge jerk, emotionally, and verbally abusive. Gaslit me like crazy, to the point I didn’t know he was being abusive, and controlling. When I say controlling, I mean he decided where I could, and could not go. Who I could, and could not see, and what path my future would take. He made me quit working at the Renaissance Festival, and I was pretty much exiled from all my friends there. I was attempting to go to graduate school in London for maritime archaeology but, he told me how stupid that idea was and basically threatened to break up with me if I went. I believed, that I was in the wrong and threw away that dream thinking that being with him was most important, as he had programmed me to believe. Thank the Gods above that my now husband showed up. He was able to make me realize that I was indeed, being abused and convinced me to get the hell out.
Now here I am six and a half years later, for the first time having a significant other that is supportive, and as excited about my dreams as I am. When I mentioned that I was thinking about going back to school for paleontology, I expected him to shoot me down. Not because he’s abusive, he’s the farthest thing from it, but because it would be very difficult right now with him working full time, and in school, and the fact that we have two very young children. (Leia is still too young to be in school) Instead what happened surprised me. He told me to go for it. When I became discouraged, he refused to let me give up, and kept pushing me telling me that we would figure out a way for me to do it.
Yesterday I e-mailed the undergraduate advisor for paleontology at the University of Michigan, explaining that I am interested in going to school for fossil preparation. Even more surprising was the fact that I got a response not even half an hour later. He referred me to another professor, who is in charge of fossil preparation at the school. Surprising me again, like I was seriously kind of in shock, I received a response within an hour. I’m going to be meeting with Dr.Sanders in the beginning of March to figure out how to best proceed toward my end goal. He also referred me to a conference that will be taking place in Lincoln Nebraska in April. Hopefully I’ll be able to save up enough money to go (It’s going to cost about $1,000 for everything).
It’s still a little surreal and shocking that things seem to be progressing with this. If you told me a year ago that I would be doing this, I probably would have laughed in your face. Yet, here I am. I’m excited to prove myself, now that I’m medicated for my ADHD, (I hadn’t been diagnosed during my first stint in college) and the fact that I have a significant other that actually supports me. For the first time I feel like I can take on the world.
In the words of Dr. Ian Malcom: “Life Finds A Way”