I sat at my desk at work. Newly wed. I'd moved 40 miles away to make a home and a life with the man I would spend the rest of my life with.
I sighed, flicking my pen against the desk.
I worked in the office at the school where my husband was a teacher. Good school. Good job, really. There was just something missing. Something not quite hitting the mark with me. I remembered in school I was always called "swot" and when I got my GCSE results, the embarrassing photo in the local paper of all us "high achievers" from a normal school, normal area. We were going to do great things.
But life gets in the way of these great things. You make decisions, you change, you grow. Time flies. And before you know it, you're not that person anymore.
I'd been to uni as a teen, did a few months and left, for a myriad of silly reasons, mainly due to me not being ready, since then I'd had a recurring dream. At least twice a month for years. I would walk down the dingy university hallway to the tutor's room, hand in my assignment. The tutor would tell me how I had just got the essay in on time. Everything was OK, and I could finish my degree.
I'd wake up full of regret and dismay.
So one day, as I sat looking at the computer screen, the Open University home page was looking back at me. The blue glare of the screen, smiling graduates. I sigh again, Six modules. Six years. One degree. I knew if I went back to education it would be through the OU. Emily was five when we married, I had to work so the OU was a great place to start.
I looked at the screen again. Six, Years.
A flood of panic hits me.
I don't have time. Six years is forever. What if I hate it? What if I can't do it? Who am I anyway and what is the point?
I push these fears away and apply online. BA Honours in History. The modules look amazing. I think I might cancel when it comes to it anyway. Too much work.
Before I know it, I've applied to pay monthly. It's all so easy.
Over the next few days I remember the dream. The dream that haunted me. I think long and hard. I find myself antcipating that email that allowed me on the course. The email that told me I could pay monthly. The email that would put a stop to the recurring dream.
I got the email.
I never looked back.
I worked for those six years and I loved it all. We had two more children over this time. Life does not get in the way, does it?
I don't know if I mentioned, but I GOT A FIRST CLASS DEGREE.
OK, I may have mentioned it once or twice....But you know what.... the recurring dream stopped. I am now no longer haunted and I am back to being that person who can achieve great things if I want to. The whole world is there for me, as it will be for my children, and anyone else who wants to do what they want, chase their dreams.
Or just banish the haunting recurring ones.