It’s funny how little things can completely change the trajectory of a life.
A year ago, I found my HBU diploma while cleaning and laughed to myself how crazy it is that I’ll be paying for that piece of paper forever, but would never actually use it. Now I have a super cool job that I wouldn’t have without it, and am scheduled to start on my Master’s in two weeks. If someone had told me a year ago I would be working toward a Master’s, I would have belly laughed. No. Way.
When I started at HBU, I was actually a music major. I had been playing tenor saxophone for lots of years at that point. I was decent, but no shining star. And since music theory is basically math, I struggled in a huge way. That along with the fact that my saxophone instructor, who has since passed away God rest his soul, reeked of cigarette smoke, coffee, and Dentyne gum and had no appreciating for personal space, I decided to change my major after completing my first quarter.
I had no idea what to do that that point. My mom offered for me to just come back home. Leave HBU while you figure it out. No rush. But I knew that if I left, I’d never return. I’d never get a degree in anything. My roommate was majoring in business. “Major in business,” she said, “We can share books,” she said. And so that was how the decision was made. Without ever even giving a thought to majoring in business, I changed my major to Business Administration with an emphasis in Management. I had never managed anything, not even really my own life.
And I did well. Again, no shining star, but I graduated with a decent GPA. One of my professors was always trying to nail me down on my “goals” or whatever. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” “What career path do you see yourself on?” I only ever wanted to be a mom. The degree was jut a back up plan. A just in case it all fell apart parachute to have. It wasn’t the answer she wanted, but it’s the answer I always gave her. I guess that’s why I didn’t give much thought to what I would major in. I never really had a plan to use it anyway. All I ever wanted to be was a mom.
And thankfully, God granted me that huge desire. Four fold. And I became the manager of lots of things. We intentionally set up our lives in a way that didn’t require two incomes. Eight years ago, in an effort to bring in money without having to get a “real job,” I began photography. No training. I just had a knack for it and the knack grew. Having my own business allowed me to stay home with the kids I so desperately wanted. It allowed us to make improvements to our home we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford. And every now and then, little nuggets of info from my days at HBU would make their way into my business and make it better.
My photography business, combined with that degree I thought I’d never use, provided the education and experience I needed to finally begin a “real” career at the age of 37. I’ll graduate with an MS in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at the age of 41. And then who knows…
And it’s really all because of a series of seemingly insignificant, and even some irresponsible, decisions along the way. It’s because I was somewhat directionless. It’s because he smelled like cigarettes and Dentyne. It’s because of the potluck roommate. It’s because we splurged on a semi decent camera that we probably couldn’t afford. It’s because my husband thinks I can do anything. It’s because the person who is now my boss took a chance on me.
But mostly, it’s because God has directed my steps when I had no idea where I was going.