What a ride it’s been.
Coming out of a toxic relationship, if someone was to come up to me and tell me that I was going to graduate college and end up in a three bedroom apartment all as a single mom… I would have laughed!
Coming from a marriage that tore me down to shreds, nothing felt possible.
I’ve been told many times I couldn’t do anything on my own.
That I needed him. That I should be SO thankful for him because he tolerates me.
That I wouldn’t find anyone else who would want me. That I can’t succeed in life without him because he’s holding it down for me.
And you know what? Honestly. He was telling the truth. I couldn’t succeed in life. BECAUSE HE WAS IN MY LIFE.
Once I cut him loose, I was able to do so much more.
What he failed to see was how much I also did for him. But I didn’t sit and gloat the way he did.
The time, effort, and soul I put into making him happy became available for ME when I left him.
I applied for the elementary education program at University of Northern Colorado in 2019.
I got accepted.
I found out that the program required in-person classes in the afternoons. There were no evening or weekend classes available.
This meant my hours at work had to be cut. And I was SO relieved to have been with a team who was supportive and willing to work with my school schedule.
But it was financially stressful working 20 hours a week.
I went to work in the mornings, went to class, and then picked up odd ball jobs here and there to help make ends meet.
2020 rolls around and you guys know what happened: The pandemic.
This meant classes went online which is harder for me. I am not the best student online. On the flip side, I was blessed in so many ways financially. I worked at a school and the district that I was in decided to pay all employees for the rest of the school year. I always work a second job over summer because my position doesn’t get paid over summer. Due to the pandemic, it was hard finding a second job. But the stimulus checks and a small portion of unemployment helped hold me over.
During this time, I was qualified to apply for a scholarship. I got it. And they told me this was the largest amount they had given anyone: $5,000. Because this was the first time they had given this amount of money, they had to make adjustments as to how I would receive it. I got half in the fall and the other half in the spring.
When school rolled around in August, I got a little over $6,000 in refunds. This was saved for rent, bills, and miscellaneous expenses. Another win in August was I passed my teacher licensure exam: all four subjects in one sitting. It was one of the most stressful 4 hours of my life. But I got it in one shot FOR FREE (I filled out a waiver form – one exam could be taken for free and I opted for the exam that included all four subjects). Relief is an understatement here.
My job at the school also started the school year in-person. Let me recap. My classes for my own education went remote. But my job working in the school went in-person. Because my classes were in the late afternoon/evenings, that meant I got to work full-time hours again!
Fast forward to 2021.
My kids have been going to school online. This was also a blessing in disguise.
I used to drop them off at their dads early in the morning because he was in the school zone and the school bus would pick them up. I would then head to work.
However, he moved back in with his parents. With that move, that meant I could no longer drop them off there. Because the pandemic happened, I opted them to continue going to school online while I went to work.
It wasn’t easy having them go to school online. They struggled a LOT.
As I worked in the morning and had classes right after work, and then getting ready for dinner… it was the most challenging for me to help them with their school work.
I did what I can but I wish I did more.
For the next school year, I opted them to go to school in-person. It would be what’s best for them. But considering I didn’t live in the school district’s zone, it meant I had to move.
Even as an employee, if I opted them to attend any school in the district, I would still have to find transportation for them. So moving was the solution.
So here we are, early into 2021 and I am apartment hunting on top of working, taking my classes, and doing all the other motherly duties.
And it was the biggest pain the arse.
I had to find an apartment that accepted huskies. I also had to make sure we were on the first floor (it’s what’s the most comfortable for us with two dogs). Also had to make sure that it was in the school district AND had transportation (I do not feel comfortable with the idea of my kids walking to school).
After weeks of searching and calling so many different complexes, I found a THREE bedroom apartment that was a couple hundred dollars more than my previous rent at a two bedroom apartment.
I applied, got accepted, and I put that money down FAST.
Finding our current home was God’s blessing for us.
My kids have their own room, the neighborhood is a lot better (I have a bullet hole in my car from my previous apartment that I discovered one morning on my way to work), and it’s just more comfortable overall for us.
We moved in on May 2nd. My graduation ceremony happened on May 9th, finishing out the school year with a 3.9 GPA
Back track a little bit and I got a job offer to teach third grade on April 28th.
GOD IS GOOD.
Five years ago, I never would have thought I’d be here. I honestly didn’t know where I would end up. But I did not think I was going to do this well.
Living expenses in Colorado, though not the worst, isn’t the best.
There are times when I throw tantrum at God and ask Him why everything is so damn expensive. It’s not fair.
But I grind my teeth and re-focus on my capabilities and get back in the groove. Head down and grind.
This past year has been FULL of blessings. But it also came with a LOT of sacrifices, hard work, prayers, anxiety, and depression.
But we’re here. I made it this far. I have the summer hump to climb over (I don’t get my first paycheck on a teacher’s salary until September) but I have a part-time job lined up. It won’t be enough to cover the expenses and I have anxiety over that. But God has always pulled me through.
Side mini-story: Wasn’t quite sure how I would pay rent next week. I got a $800 refund from my previous apartment. I mus have overpaid. But that in itself was a HUGE financial relief. I’m still a couple hundred dollars short but it’s not something I can’t work with.
I’ll say it again. GOD IS GOOD. Even if that check didn’t come through..HE IS STILL GOOD ❤