This is my family… We are on a rocky path, not a paved road… A journey that we chose to commit few years ago. It is rough and rocky but we are finding the joy with every step. A path that I didn’t choose but find joy walking it together with my family.
When people ask me,” Why are you back in school?” Often my answer was simply,” It’s a long story or I am having a midlife crisis too soon…” I am afraid that sharing the whole reason will make others judge me…. Well, I guess, not sharing the whole truth made people judge me as well. I am not back because I want to. I don’t need another degree… I already have a job. So why did I?
It started way back 10 years ago, not long after I started my kindermusik studio. I didn’t know about speech language pathology until I became a service provider for the county’s Help Me Grow program. Several parents told me,” Music made such a difference in their language and social development, you should go back to school and become an SLP!” It was God’s whispering!
I shrugged my shoulder and said,” Are you kidding me?? English is not my native language”.
Fast forward to about 8 years ago, one of my best friends has a special need child. It took few years to get a diagnosis. Through my journey with her, I found out these facts
- Indonesia, the 4th most populous country in the world has roughly 300 speech therapists then!
- Back 8 years ago (when I did my research)…. NOONE has a degree beyond bachelor!
- That bachelor degree is actually in education.
- There are only 2 SMALL schools that train “speech therapists” and the actual degree is an ASSOCIATE (ahli madya) degree, 2 yrs after high school then you are done! You can go on and get a bachelor in Education
- NO language tests or assessment available for ANY INDONESIAN children that were made for Indonesian children.
GOD WAS SPEAKING!
What did I do?? NOTHING! It was sad, but it is so NOT my problem. My business was thriving! We lived a blessed life! Money was good… Why do I need to work or go to school..
Then 4.5 years ago. I almost died after my daughter was born. One of my very best friend gave me an “OPRAH moment ” when she asked me,” If you died, what is the 1 thing you regret from your life?” I started sobbing as it was GOD was YELLING at me. My answer was,” 1 regret only, whether I could have make a difference if I answered GOD”s call… What would happen if I go back to school.”
THAT fall 2009, I enrolled full time! I was still stubborn!! I asked for signs. Dear hubby and I both prayed for signs, that would be fulfilled within 1 year or else I would stop! They were all fulfilled within 1 quarter! From wonderful babysitters to full scholarships. I was only going for the master degree.. but GOD said Ph.D! Seriously, there were several miracles to my acceptance! one, was the GRE score. Mine is 990! Usually accepted score is 1000. GOD wanted me to know that HE alone put me here!
So when things are really hard at school, I do go crazy! Partly, because I am human.. partly because I didn’t choose to be on this PATH! GOD chose it for me.
There are many days that I would cry… and asked my dear husband “WHY ME?” There must have been other more competent Indonesians out there, whose English is so much better than mine!” Then he would said,” why NOT you?” We saw how GOD has prepared me for this even since I was a little girl! I was so blessed to LOVE books! My Dad loves book and I probably grew up reading MORE books than other Indonesian kids in the 70s! Those here on fb from my elementary years probably remember that by 5th grade I opened a LIBRARY, convenient since my house is right in front of the school… I charged money for friends to borrow my books and gave fines if they brought them back late. The idea my dad gave me because he could only buy me 1 book a week… If I want more, I would have to buy by myself!.
So I am simply enduring this journey because GOD owns me, my heart and my life! HE paid the full price when HE died for me! So if this is what HE wants me to do. Then, I will do it. What am I going to do after I graduate, I DON”T KNOW! It is GOD who holds my future.
Some days I am so tired that I want to quit. Little things make me feel guilty, such as when my son asked me,” Mommy, do you have homework?” If not can you play with me?” Sometimes, I came home, and my patience has run dry! My children, husband and best friends have seen me in my worst moments. I am human… I got stressed out! How could you not? I am tired of writing in a language that is not my own! I am tired of speaking correctly…. I am tired of constantly monitoring whether I say “teeth” or “tit”, “she” or “see”…
However, I have to say, I LOVE LOVE all the kids in my case loads, most of my classes… and this profession. I have seen what a difference can EARLY intervention do to these children….
Thus said, I hope you understand… Going to school is NOT my choice… for that reason alone, I can not quit. Though I want to quit so badly sometimes… Dear hubby and I believe that our children are fine… Personally I think they are awesome! When I am NOT home, someone who LOVES them dearly are with them… Do I feel guilty? YES I DO!! Al the time.. Heck, I was a stay home mom before! But we try to make every moment count….and when I need to get my stress out… Please allow me…. Thank you so much for so many of you who have loved me through this tough journey! I can’t do this without my dear sweet husband and most of all to so many wonderful girlfriends I have here in town!! It sure does takes a village to get me through school.
It’s long… I don’t know if anyone would read this but if you get to this point, THANK YOU!!!
I hope sharing my experiences in my crazy life will help other mommies out there who are juggling graduate schools and family… Especially other immigrants mommies …. It’s hard but it’s possible… You just have to take it one day at a time 🙂