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We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.
— Robert Brault

The quote above is so appropriate for my life. Everyone told me I had so much potential, but I squandered it chasing the easy goal versus the one I really wanted. I simply thought, people like me don't get what they really want.

I grew up in a family that lived paycheck to paycheck. My mother never went to college and my father never finished high school. I dropped out in the 9th grade and got a GED (which I got with no additional classwork. It seems I was already performing at a 12th grade level).

At 19 I went back to college and went off and on for the next 10 years. I took classes in business, computers, geology, biology, and engineering. Basically, whatever interested me. 

During that time I developed friendships with people who were college professors and world-class researchers. Every day I saw people doing what I wanted to do but I couldn't see myself getting there. Which leads me back to the quote above. I chose the easy path, because I didn't see how someone like me could get there. 

Now I'm 45, I have 2 degrees (BS in Marketing and MA in Journalism), 3 kids, and an overwhelming desire to pursue a career in environmental journalism. I don't see the path this time, but I know that doesn't mean there isn't one, it just means I need to work harder at finding it.