The Breast Blog: How To Become a Breast Health Ambassador - Chapter Two / Panic

When I moved to Guelph in 1981, I was looking for a fresh start. Weeks away from my own large wedding, a home owner and working gal I knew that I had somehow set out on a path that did not resonate for me at all. And I also knew that sooner or later, the poor choices I was making would come back to bite me. So, in one fell swoop, I rented out my house, quit my job and canceled my nuptials. I apologized profusely to my fiance and family, packed up my Pinto and moved 100 km south to Guelph where I enrolled in the University of Guelph. Although I wrote all that into one sentence, at the time, it was the hardest set of actions I had ever executed and faced in my life.

My mind became single focused. I needed to live 'my' life and not follow the predictable path of my peers. But first I had to figure out what the hell 'my life' looked like. All I really knew was what I didn't want. A start for sure, but not a very calm beginning.

I remember the first day of classes. After cramming my belongings into my tiny single dorm room and looking at my course outline, I sat on the hard, narrow bed and cried. I was so very tempted to slip that ring back on my finger and race back to my man with my tail between my legs.

The path I was setting out on was terrifying in it's newness.

I'd been a good student in high school, but five years had passed since I cracked anything but a trashy novel. My clothes all screamed country hick. My course choices were randomly picked and now seemed way over my head. I didn't even know what half the words meant. Nothing was familiar and everyone seemed very young.

Then I remembered to breath. Over and over and over. Before long, my panic subsided. I knew that I had to take this gigantic experience before me and chunk it down into teeny, tiny, bit size morsels if I was going to make it through.

So I sent out on my first, baby step task. I found the campus bookstore and bought myself the mother of all dictionary's. Then I looked up philosophy, sociology and psychology to find out how they differed and how they connected. I had signed up for a course on each for reasons that had permanently escaped me.

Being in the moment was my lifeline. I got through 30 courses in 7 semesters and ended up with a Bachelor of Arts by being present. I could not afford to loose my way or stray from the learning curve I had placed myself on. I was conducting a gigantic experiment with me as the subject. Indeed, I found some very important pieces of myself during those years.

I still used that same dictionary. In fact I used it today when Tannis likened the word Blog to be onomatopoeia.

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