It’s Never Too Late

Lee Ann Ridgley, student, Lone Star College  |  October 20, 2021 in Pearson Students

A view of the blog author’s desk featuring a desk calendar, computer keyboard, and a notepad with the quote in the blog from Maya Angelou.

More than two decades ago, my college journey began, and I am still on that journey today. My pathway is one of heartbreak and loss, but also countless blessings. John Lennon sums it up perfectly with this quote, "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." I hope my story will encourage students of all ages to realize their educational dreams, no matter the magnitude.

Change of Plans

After high school graduation, I was ready to take on the world. My next step...college! I was an innocent teenager with a solid plan. I would attend college, graduate in four years, and become a teacher. January 11, 2000, everything changed.

In the process of unpacking my dorm room, my Resident Assistant informed me I had a visitor downstairs. The elevator jerked to a halt and the doors slid open. I rounded the corner to find my dad standing in the lobby. He said we needed to talk. Immediately panicked, I asked if my mother was alright. "Yes," Dad said. I then learned that my older brother had been in a fatal car accident, I packed my suitcase and headed home.

I didn't have a plan, but God did. I do not believe that Darrell's passing was necessary, but his loss has served countless purposes in my life, my faith journey, and my professional development into adulthood.

Trust the Process

As a younger student, I never imagined I would be the type of person to become so engaged in my education outside of the classroom much less emerge as a leader among my peers. But after returning to school as a non-traditional student, that is exactly what happened. My first accomplishment, being accepted into the Honors College on scholarship. I became the President of The Future Teachers Club, and soon after, I was asked to mentor new Honors Students and students in the lifePATH® Program. Currently, I have the blessing of serving as Pearson Campus Ambassador and writing this blog. Did I ever dream of being a blog author? Never! No matter your path, and it may seem arduous, trust the process. The world's most beautiful diamonds remain under pressure for billions of years before producing their ethereal glow.

Parenthood

Motherhood is a catalyst for my achievements, but raising children while working, going to school, and taking care of my home is not easy. Being a stay-at-home Mom has produced glory and if I dare say, a much stronger gut. It took time to learn how to do it gracefully. I understand the value of time, something that diminishes before our eyes. Now my children can experience their future dreams, goals, and accomplishments through my lens. I hope that my children will understand the importance of believing in themselves and holding themselves to higher standards. Every parent's dream is for their child to be successful and productive. What better way to help them achieve that dream than through modeling it myself?

The Transformation

My transformation started immediately, but I couldn't see it. After my brother's passing, I gained an unusual affinity for butterflies. Every single time I see one, I think of him. I cannot help but gasp at their weightlessness and their ability to be graceful as they appear to hop spastically through the air.

What's your dream? It's never too late to start.

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."

–Maya Angelou

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