Late Night Scholarship Applications

Pink flowers

I just wrote an essay for a scholarship application. What the heck… Maybe I can get a little help with the outrageous price of text books without taking out ANOTHER loan. (Loan rhymes with groan. Coincidence? I think not.)

So here is my “wonderful” essay about why they should give me money to go to school:

Many people would wonder why, at this point in my life, I am returning to school. After all, I have a Bachelor’s Degree and a Law Degree, why not just use the education I’ve already obtained?

For the thirteen years between earning my JD and re-entering the workforce in 2012, I was a stay at home mother. I worked volunteer positions with the school and in my community, but most of my energy focused on raising three bright children, one of whom had health issues, while my ex-husband pursued his career goals and dreams, and while he was activated with the Individual Ready Reserve and Deployed to Iraq with the United States Army. For thirteen years, my degree grew dusty, until it became very difficult for me to re-enter a competitive workforce.

After thirteen years, I found myself in the position of going through a separation and divorce, and having to reinvent my career and myself. For the past two years, I have worked first as a Unit Aid and now as a police dispatcher here at Santa Fe College. While I love Santa Fe College, I have found that I am not working up to my full potential, and I have enrolled in Santa Fe, taking a new direction in studying Programming and Analysis.

While I enjoyed every moment spent in feeding, teaching, and nurturing the children who are now teens approaching college age, I hope to set an example for them: that learning is a lifelong endeavor, and that you can reinvent yourself at any age.

My goal in pursuing a degree in Programming and Analysis is to start a new career in the field of technology.

Parts I left out in the whole not-wanting-to-be-too-negative thing:

I left my ex husband because I felt that I and my children were victims of “spiritual abuse.” There, I’ve gone and used that “A-” word…

We’ve all moved on, and we’re all doing fine, but I wasn’t always this positive. I’m sharing this not as a “hey, let’s all hate on my ex” thing… He had his set of beliefs and values, and they were sincerely held, and my sense of self-worth was just a casualty of his higher purpose.

When I respond to stuff about the Duggars and Quiverfull, I have a little bit of insight, though we were never part of the movement. I was married to someone who felt that we should have as many children as God would give us, no birth control, with strong views about gender roles and Christianity. He was raised by two rather liberal Presbyterians, but he bought into a more conservative fundamentalist doctrine. And everything he believed he could back up with Biblical passages, even the stuff that was way out there bat-shit crazy. Because there was stuff in the Bible that was there, albeit vague, and open to his interpretation.

Ultimately, I wrote my novel, a huge fight ensued over whether I should have allowed anyone to read it without his approval, more discussions ensued when I did finally allow him to read it, and my eyes were opened to the inner workings of his mind.

I’m alright now. I know I am talented, and beautiful in my own way, that I am smart enough, that I can do whatever I want to do in this world, though some things might take more effort than I am willing to put forth. But three years ago, when I was preparing to move to Florida, when I was studying for the Florida Bar Exam, and feeling like I was constantly on “high alert” as I was laying the path to divorce a man who “didn’t believe in divorce” and had a self-proclaimed “Old Testament Sense of Justice,” I wasn’t so confident. 

Nor was I this confident when I worked up the courage to file for divorce. It was an ugly process, with a battle first over which state would have jurisdiction over the divorce. That battle cost thousands of dollars and months of my life, and ultimately, I lost the jurisdiction battle.

But in the end, I won. Not that he didn’t – I think he may have won, too… because he is slowly forging a new relationship with the three beautiful children who were once afraid of him. But I won, because I walked away from someone who was willing to risk my health, sanity, and life on his own belief that God wouldn’t give me more children than I could handle… despite a c-section that nearly killed me in the first pregnancy, and a daughter who followed too soon after her brother and consequently had some health issues that will be with her for life. He was willing to risk my health, sanity and life, because in his mind, if I died, he could go out and find someone else with whom to fulfill God’s commandment “Be fruitful and multiply.”

I walked away with a great deal of debt, a low paying job, and my wits. And while the past few years have, in very many ways, been excruciating at times, I walked away to find a sense of freedom that few people enjoy.

When life gets difficult, some people find strength in a belief in a higher being. I found strength in letting go of years of religious indoctrination. Is there a god out there? Perhaps. Perhaps there is more than one. Music comes from something that goes beyond mere survival instinct. Science and Math have many answers, but no sense of humor. But if there is a god or gods (and goddesses) out there, I would hate to believe that they are the petty creations that men use to justify unspeakable cruelty. I like to believe that if there is a higher being (or higher beings) out there, they are beyond our simple human understanding.


One thought on “Late Night Scholarship Applications

  1. I love your essay. I would give you the money! And I know you are probably not looking for agreement…but, i have to add this in. I agree with you. It is a shame that people use their religion to validate the terrible things they do. How about we just all be good and moral people first? Religious second.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s