The Value of Commitment
It has not been an easy process to discover exactly what I believe in. I searched my heart and soul to find the answer. At times it was clear, but then my mind would wander. I reflected on motherhood, my academic career and personal relationships to find the answer. After several days of contemplation and endless drafts, the answer came to me. Commitment is what I believe in and value most in my life.
Why is commitment so important? Ten years ago I convinced myself, a college education was not necessary to have a successful career and I dropped out of school. I didn’t value the commitment to acquire knowledge. I thought I knew everything I needed to know. For the most part, my conviction came true. It was easy to start a business from home, create a website, and eventually open a retail store to manufacture bath and candle products. I thought, I had it all, but a lack of purpose kept eating away at me. I had reneged on a previous commitment to school.
At age thirty-six, I returned to college. Ambivalent about finishing a degree in art history, I enrolled in upper division art history courses. After completing my first semester a feeling of emptiness continued to consume me. Often I would sit in class wondering what I was doing there. What about this degree was so important? It then occurred to me that the idea of receiving a degree at the end of my academic career wasn’t as important as the process of committing to reach the goal.
Reflecting on my personal steps to return to college has been an enlightening process.
As a mother, I find it useful to teach my child the relevance of this process. It is important that she understands obligation. My devotion to educate myself provides me with a sense of empowerment and a feeling of accomplishment, because I have a goal to complete. Because of my personal commitment to education, my daughter can learn about these valuable qualities. She will also learn the role that commitment plays within a family.
I was so focused on my daughter after she was born that I didn’t realize the level of commitment my husband had fostered in our relationship. Since I became a stay at home mom and a new student, Fritz has been providing for our family financially. In his words, “I hate my job, but I am willing to sacrifice a little happiness to provide for my family financially.” In doing so, he allows me to focus on my studies and raise our daughter without the worry of a job. His love and devotion to see me succeed in school will continue to set a wonderful example for our daughter. If that’s not the ultimate commitment then I don’t know what is
As I searched for my values and beliefs, it occurred to me that everything people do in life brings them to another level of commitment. In my youth, I took for granted the opportunity to attend college. I thought it was merely a means to an end. I didn’t value the dedication to acquire knowledge. As a result of returning to school, I have become more self-reliant, patient, and humble. I have also learned to value Fritz’s belief in commitment. In the past I have often taken his generosity and devotion to our family for granted. Now that I have a daughter it is really important to instill a sense of value in her life. Commitment truly is my most sacred belief, because I learned the importance of commitment while attending school, my husband demonstrates commitment in terms of his family, and Sierra will learn about commitment through our examples.