I Didn’t Graduate College and That’s Okay

leeannes bathroom pic

Let me start off by saying that I did not want to go to college.
By the end of my senior year of high school I was fed up with a lot of things. My husband’s (he was my boyfriend at the time) best friend passed away in a tragic car accident over Christmas break and that caused me to take a very good look at what I felt was a complete waste of time. Busting my butt to graduate alongside a bunch of kids that cheated their way to the top. Continuing to be friends that had no interest in who I wanted to be as a person. Schoolwork in general. I was wasting my time on a lot of things. Before Christmas break I was set to graduate with honors. I stopped giving a damn and didn’t graduate with honors. Didn’t take the AP literature exam that would’ve gotten me a college credit. I didn’t do a lot of things.
I got accepted into college and didn’t have to pay a dime because my GPA was still miraculously good and my mom didn’t make a whole lot of money. In fact at the time she wasn’t making any money at all. One day right before I graduated, I came home to her sitting on the couch in her work clothes when she was supposed to be at work. “I quit” she said. She then explained that on her application she lied and said she had graduated high school when in fact she never had. The pharmacy she had been working for was being looked over by some higher ups and she didn’t want her boss to get in trouble.
I don’t remember how long it took her to get a job again but it was a good agonizing while. Let me be the one to inform you that there’s a gigantic difference between wanting to eat ramen noodles and having to eat ramen noodles because that’s all that can be afforded. We almost lost the house. I swear we were about to lose the car about six different times. There was even a week where we had no running water. All the while I was going to college and feeling like I was making the problem worse because of the gas money it took to get me back and fourth. I made my first D in my entire life because the math professor would come to class hungover and I was already beyond incapable at math. I couldn’t save my GPA and I lost HOPE scholarship. I was relieved. I finally had a legitimate reason to drop out and I did faster than I could consider potential student loans.
After I got out of college I started actually doing things. I got a job. I got married. Everything was going pretty great until last week when it seems like everyone I went to school with graduated college.
Realistically everyone I went to school with did not graduate from college last week, but a lot of my friends did and I started feeling really down on myself. My husband looked at me the other day while I was watching Netflix and I was so slumped over my chin was nearly touching the bed. I was literally weighing myself down with my thoughts. I began basing my self worth on my lack of college degree, rather than the job I have. Or the friendships I have. Or even the daggum good marriage that I have. I didn’t put myself in debt up to my eyeballs to continue my education so I was worthless.
Last night we went to hang out with my husband’s best friend, Richard, and a few other buddies of ours. Whenever we go to Richard’s house we all hang out in the game room and his little sister’s bathroom is the one closest to the game room, so we all frequently demolish it. I look at the picture at the beginning of this post all the time when I’m using poor LeeAnne’s bathroom but I never really thought about it until last night. Just because I’m not doing what everyone else is doing doesn’t mean what I’m doing doesn’t matter. I wanted to get a job so I would feel like I was doing something useful. I got married because I can’t imagine doing life with anyone else but my Kirk. I have these amazing friendships with some of the greatest people on this planet and they choose to continue to allow me to take up space in their hearts. My worth is not based on a diploma. It isn’t based on how much I get paid per hour. My worth manifests itself in the people I love. You don’t need a college education to know how to care for someone and if all I do in my life is make sure that the people in my corner feel loved then I’m good.


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