Wyn had suggested that I write some things about my life. I've written several stories about various parts of my life over the years (not here on MySpace) with the intention of publishing a book one day but the stories are all incomplete. I do have an admission essay that I think is compelling though, and I thought I would put that on here. Let me preface this by letting you know that this was written in the early part of 1997. I was attending Georgia State University at night and teaching phlebotomy during the day. I had just met Mike and we had been dating for a few months. There are several typos and grammatical errors, so please just overlook them.
I was applying to Agnes Scott College--a small private liberal arts school for women. I had to write about a time that changed my life.
I remember driving home from my mother's house one day when I was about 19 years old. It must have been late spring because the flowers were in full bloom and the trees were green with all of their leaves. It was not sweltering hot yet, so I know it wasn't summer. I was married to an abusive man who thought the struggle in life was to remain within the poverty threshold so they wouldn't stop the food stamps or kick us out of our subsidized housing.
Growing up I did not experience being poor, or doing without, so this new environment took some getting used to. I never remember sitting in my room as a child envisioning my future of being, or becoming, a welfare recipient. I don't ever recall saying, "I want to be a tax-taker instead of a tax-payer when I grow up." But, somehow, that was what I had become.
As I drove home, I remember thinking about how unhappy I was, and I knew that, without a doubt, this was not the life I wanted for myself. But, I did not know how to change it.
The sun was beaming down on me through the windshield and, since I didn't have air conditioning, I had the windows rolled down. I could smell the sweet scent of honeysuckles, they were everywhere in
When I got home and walked through the front door of my low-income apartment I felt something I had never felt before, or at least not paid attention to. I knew that apartment was not my final destination. That apartment was no longer my home. I knew, for a fact, that this was only a temporary stop. Knowing that felt good. But now since I had a new found future for myself, what was I going to tell my welfare-professional husband?
I didn't tell him anything. The next day I got up and left the house before he awoke. I went and got a job at a convenient store called Jet. I was thrilled. When I went home to tell him the good news, he glared at me and told me that I could not work there. He told me that he would do everything in his power to stop me. I didn't let that discourage me though—I started work the very next day.
After working for about a week, and my husband realizing that he was not going to be able to keep me from it, he hit me. I guess he thought if he made my face look all beat up, I would be too ashamed to go to work. But I wasn't. In fact, after the hitting stop, I called the police, he was arrested, and I moved out of that apartment. I went to live at my grandmother's house and continued to work.
Eight and a half years later, here I am. I've been working consistently and going to college at night. I have been raising my two kids and paying a mortgage for about a year. I bought my car two years ago—new.
The drive home from my mother's house had a significant impact on my life. For the first time in years, I saw where I was going.