This photo was taken in 1992 when I graduated high school and the world was my oyster, yet I only had eyes for Sam. I imagined the day I would marry him and we would live our dream life, but then life actually happens. Not exactly like I thought but a little something like this.

· Graduate high school
· Attend community college
· Get pregnant
· Drop out of community college
· Start working full time – until forever!
· Get married (yes, in this order)
· Start my family, work hard, work harder, put kids through school, …

You get the picture.

While life didn’t go exactly as planned, I have no complaints. In the grand scheme of things, I know this path was the one I was meant to be on. What I didn’t know however, is that at 45 my life would take a slightly different turn and not AT ALL like I suspected or EVER saw coming.

It started when my manager walked into my office a few weeks ago and asked, “Have you ever thought about going back to school?”.

PAUSE

I’ve learned things about myself in the past few years that I questioned a lot growing up, which are: I learn differently, I see things differently, I am a HUGE visual thinker, and I must take a minute for myself (sometimes 20) to reflect on just about everything. So, in this case I did exactly that. I took a step back. I looked at my life and then I thought again about her question.

When I initially answered no to her question, it was as easy a response as any. As if it had been practiced because, in fact, it kinda had been. No, I never thought about going back to school, because why would I? I had a family to raise and when would I find the time? But now that response no longer applied. Then she backed up her question with “why not?”. She kind of plays dirty. That last question got to me and it also got the wheels spinning.

REFLECTION

I went home that night with my mind all a blur because my manager/friend took the time to notice something in me and basically call me out on it. I just couldn’t answer the question of “why not”, so I pondered it the rest of that evening and weekend. I talked to Sam about it and he reminded me that I was always able to go to school, which is true, I just don’t think I ever allowed the possibility of going back before. I think it was a matter of taking the blinders off that told me it was a thing of the past and that time had come and gone for me.

RESPONSE

I’m sure by now you know what this announcement/blog post, whatever you want to call it is all about, right? I decided that weekend that I wanted to do it. I wanted to go back to school even though I’m pretty sure a few months of college does not constitute as going back, since I never technically got credit for anything 😉

The fact that I quit school wasn’t because I didn’t like school. In fact, I was the nerd that LOVED school! When I had to write an essay in order to apply to this school a few weeks back, I was giddy about it! Did I mention nerd? I realize this will be a few years of work and I realize some things will have to fall off my plate which leads to my next announcement…Your Shine Sign

WHAT NOW

(I’ve read you should never apologize for your lengthy posts but in this instance, I feel I must. Sorry for the long post!!)

I know I tend to go full force when I tackle a new project. Trust me I’ve burned myself too many times to count. But when I think of all that I’ll have to do in the next few years, I know something will fall off my plate and I don’t want it to be school. I don’t really want it to be anything but I too need to sleep at night so my signs will have to take a slight break. I AM NOT saying that it’s going away, or that you won’t see me pop up on Insta sometimes. I’m still here, Your Shine Sign is still in my heart (and I hope yours too), I’ll still be taking custom orders, but I won’t be as present. The rest will have to just fall into place. So please don’t forget about me.

THANKS

You know that feeling when you wake up and you think, “Alright God, what is my purpose today?”. Well I ask that pretty much daily and always wait for some big miraculous plan form him. When I hear crickets, I get worried. So that day when my friend came and asked, “why not go back to school”, I never thought he’d answer with BOOKS!

I challenge you to open your heart to what God has to say to you. Sometimes our purpose isn’t as big as being a world speaker, sometimes it’s as easy as self help and self-improvement. Sometimes, if you allow yourself to remove the blinders, you’ll find that your DREAM BIG might not be big enough, and as my friend asked, WHY NOT?

Thanks guys for always being present for me, now wish me luck on this new chapter(s)!

Rita

P.S.

Special thanks to all those friends, managers, family members who help you to strive to be bigger than you think you are! The world needs more of you!I know I do!!

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