Simple Living, Story Telling

It’s Never Too Late To Start Again.

I left school when I was 16. I hadn’t planned my life to go down that route, but it did and for the past nine years I’ve just had to live with that fact. At the tender age of 16, I thought I was smart enough, adult enough and resilient enough to make a life out in the big bad world. In some ways I have – I have three beautiful children, who rule every second of it, who keep me on my toes and drive me to the point of despair, but it’s been a tough road, a road that I would rather not have travelled down, in quite the way that I have done.

I remember after leaving my education behind, the envy of watching my friends go on to succeed. They grew into sophisticated men and women, with degrees, jobs, a social life and opportunities, while I jumped miserably from one relationship to the next, never quite knowing where my place was in life, and more often than not, sinking further and further inside myself.

You see throughout my young life, it had been expected of me to go on to University. No-one in my family had ever done so, we had lived an existence of poverty, of penny pinching – sometimes we didn’t know where our next meal was coming from, so when it was evident that I showed some academic aptitude, my mother latched onto this, to the point of suffocation. It was always, “Oh you’ll go on to do so well,” or, “You’re a bright girl, you’ll go get a degree!”, but never with the help and support, that should come with that praise. Always she was pushing, sometimes even showing off the fact that I was a little bit bright, but not once did she sit down and help me with home-work, or ask me what I was actually interested in. Inevitably, it pushed me too far until I no-longer wanted to follow that path.

So I left, sat from afar and envied the people I used to know, while I grew large with child and entered into the chaos of parent-hood. My relationship failed, I was left alone with a sick child, met someone new, grew large with two children and eventually completely lost myself. I’m not too proud to admit it. Becoming a mother, helped me to loose myself in a way that I never believed was possible. No longer was I seen as a “bright spark” – people take one look at me now, with my tribe of hobbits and instantly form judgements. I’m just an overweight woman, with poorly fitting clothes, greying hair and holes in her shoes. I’m awkward around strangers, because I never know what to say and find it hard to join in with conversations.

What they don’t see is the woman who spends whole evenings, lost in a book, who writes poetry in the small hours of the morning, and who debates the fundamental questions of life with her closest friend and partner. They don’t see the glint in my eyes or how animated I am, when I get wrapped up into discussing something I truly love and care about. To them – I am nobody.

From the 1st of March, that will all change. That day, will be the first day of the rest of my life, the day that I start thinking about me, the real me, the passionate, emotional, intelligent me. That day will be my first day of studying at the Open University and I can’t wait.

Sesame magazine

Sesame magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For too long I’ve sat, allowing my life to drift on by – my brain wallowing away, in the stagnant rhythm of housework, child-care and bed-time routines. I don’t want my children to look back at my life, in the same way that I did, when I think of my own mother and say, “What did she do? What did she achieve? What lessons did I learn from her?” I want them to be inspired and to know, that no-matter what beginning their life sprang from, they can achieve whatever they strive for.

Most of all, I want to be able to give them the life, that I never had.

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Filed under: Simple Living, Story Telling


Stacey's a Social Media Community Manager by day and a self-confessed Geek by night. With boy/girl twins and an older son, she's got mum hacks coming out of her ears. Likes: overpopulated book shelves and shiny things. Dislikes: wearing socks.


    • I’m studying an introduction to Psychology as my openings course, however I’m considering English Literature & Language for my degree. Saying that the course book is a very interesting read so far!

        • Hehe you already know me too well. Indeed, it is in my heart and I can imagine me thoroughly enjoying it too!

  1. Mary at Keynko says

    Standing ovation from here! I start in September! made the decision that as my babies were growing – 1 gone to uni. 1 preparing for it – that it was my turn! Have always done things that were needed for family and work etc, now to study something i love – because without them here, I would have the time to do it!
    well done for taking the leap! You’ll be awesome

    • Ooh go you! It’s exciting isn’t it? What will you be studying?

      I told myself that I would make time for myself to do this, even if I have to spend all of my evenings on it. It’s been so long since my brain was actually challenged. I also worked out that if I start now, I could have my degree by the time all three of the children are in full-time school, which covers a huge gap in my CV.

  2. Good for you! What are you studying?

    My Dad was bright both he & Mum were a bit anti-academic; probably as a result neither I nor my sister went to Uni. She later did, after a messy divorce, & is now a Botany Professor. I didn’t & probably should have, although career-wise I’ve done OK

    The Open Uni is great; my wife got a degree there. Go for it!

    • It was my sister who spurred me on. She finally got her degree a few years ago, and I’m immensely proud of her. She totally understands the need for mental stimulation, and with her gentle encouragement, I finally took that step forward!

      If I’m honest I’m slightly terrified, but I want to prove to myself more than anything, that I can do it!

  3. Congratulations! I completed my OU degree last year and took English language courses as part of it and they were really interesting!

    Your post struck a chord with me because, although my situation was slightly different, coming from my background, well, it’s just not the same. I went to uni in my home town, but didn’t fit it, all these people so comfortable speaking in long words! I “wrote intelligent” but didn’t speak it because that wasn’t my culture, not that I could express this at the time. It was just alienating. And I really didn’t see anything wrong with quitting it to move to another country and get married. From bright to failure.

    But it’s given me novel fodder though!

    • Hey Lindsay, thank you for stopping by!

      I know exactly what you mean about the long words thing. I just don’t get on well in those kinds of situations, because I never know what to say or how to say it. Like you I can “write intelligent” but I need to sit and think about it first. Sadly people are too quick to judge.

      Now, although I hate to say it, I tend to have the same effect on The Beef, my other half. I’ll come out with something and he looks at me as if to say, “Did you just regurgitate a thesaurus?” But I think that comes with age and experience. At a younger age, I remember it being all so daunting and scary so in a way I’m glad I waited.

      I’m really looking forward to starting on Monday (I spoke to my tutor yesterday and she’s so nice), so it’s good to hear that you found the English Language courses interesting!

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