Monday, October 14, 2013

Quitting

I am a quitter.  I lack follow through on so many parts of my life.  I never went to college, really.  I did take one course, Old Testament History, in the fall of 1976 or so.  I still have one of the study books.  I made an A.  No, that is secondary school speak, 4.0 is what the slip of paper had on it.  I was 30 that December when I achieved the 4.0.  I spoke to the college admissions office about taking another course the next semester.  I learned that the ACT tests I had taken my senior year in high school were no longer valid.

It was of no significance that I had ranked in the top 10% in the entire nation in 1965.  "That score would have gotten you a full ride scholarship today," said the young lady in the admissions office.  "But you must retest in order to attend another course" she said with a kind, sympathetic smile.  Or another option was just to audit classes with no grade.  My dear, close, supportive friend, Donna, brought me a book to study to re-take the college entrance test.  Donna was a high school teacher/counselor so she knew her stuff.  I studied for a little while but I never did take the test, I never again attended an undergraduate class.  I quit.

That lack of a college education has cost me job advancements in the work place.  The lack of self discipline was the root cause of the, just write it, Janice, failure on so many levels.  I never went to college when I first graduated from high school because the money was not available.  My folks told me to live at home and save the money from my job at TI.  My mom still was verbally abusive to me.  I was a head strong twit that just wanted to get away from my unbearable parents.  I found a girl from Horizon club that, like me, was not going off to college.  We obtained a furnished apartment and I moved away from home without even telling my parents anything.  Momma came home from work one afternoon in August, 1965 and found me packing the car with all my belongings.

She threw a fit, as usual.  Daddy was very disappointed and angry, too.  They allowed me to buy the 1961 Falcon from them for $300.  And it was done.  I started my life of independence.  I sometimes call it my Year of Sin.  During that year I partied, I worked third shift, I made friends with folks at work and played on the Texins volleyball league.  Somewhere along the way the first roommate moved back home.  I found another roomie among the workforce in the Integrated Circuits department where I worked.  Carol Walter was her name.  She later dated the man that would eventually introduce me to the man of my dreams.

I changed jobs in August of 1966, about the same time I met Husband.  He was my date to the last TI buds party I ever attended.  I quit TI.  Worked for Columbia Finance for 6 months.  Then I quit there as I was not making enough money to offset the cost of working in downtown Dallas.  I quit my independent life for lack of money, too.  I moved back home.  It was not pleasant being back home.  I would endure my folks only long enough until Future Husband and I would be married in June 1967.  I have not quit him.

All this brings me back to feelings that washed over me this first day of packing for the move.  This day that I started by saying goodbye to family that has been visiting.  This morning that I sat to read a devotional and some blogs to catch up on blog folks.  This morning that I chose to click on a link to The Actual Pastor.  This morning that I clicked on another link that was a young author of books of faith.  This morning when I read of the blogger's journey in faith including her education.  Of seminars she attends to further develop her craft.  Of all the educated folks our there bearing witness to their faith.

While I have always had an outlet for my faith, I am beginning to feel that once again the lack of a degree makes my faith less polished.  Less useful in the 'you have to have a degree to work here' world.  I have noticed this lack of "formal education" as I sat on boards at church.  In a community that has no less than 2 universities and about 5 colleges, I am feel ...... useless.  Because I quit.  Now don't go all, "Oh, Janice you have so much blah, blah, blah," on me.  I am fully aware of my many gifts and talents.  Wildly creative, even inspirational at times in speaking and then my fall back, my humor.  But I always realize the paths that I blocked for myself by quitting.

I know there is hope for folks like me.  I know there is a place in God's plan for voices that are not so polished, not so educated not so full of self confidence that faith is just a business.  And for that I am thankful.  That Christ was not a quitter.  That the Creator never gives up, never quits.  And continues to love even quitters.



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