It has taken me 10 years to get to this point. There I said it. 10 is a number i have been ashamed of. Who in their right mind would be in school for 10 years??? I have thought of quitting every single day. Every time I have sat at the computer I have felt an intense sense of dread. In fact, doing this blog is an exercise that was suggested to me to help me relax as I push forward. So WHY am I still pushing forward? When I was young, I told my mom that after college I would not go back to graduate school, etc. I was sick of school. She had a very serious talk with me. She told me, “Nika, the more you have the more you can give your children.” For some reason those words resonated with me. So I have continued to pursue education so that I have more to give my kids. And I do see how this journey has affected what I have been able to feed my kids’ minds. As my 5 year old watches me and his dad (my husband is working on a 2nd masters in cyber security) go to school, he has developed a hunger to learn more and to design his path for the future. He loves animals…completely obsessed with them, but he is also very interested in the field of medicine. He will watch a documentary of a surgery and not get grossed out, but be completely enthralled. So he says to me, “Mommy, I am going to open a hospital for animals and children. There will be a building for animals and a building for children and a bridge between them. I will run the animal side and then I will hire someone to run the children’s side. I will call it Dillon’s Hospital for Animals and Children.” As he has watched me push toward education and opening a school, he is internalizing that journey for himself. I must finish so that I can set the example for them to finish what you start. To not quit. To pursue every dream and passion with vigor. When I started this journey, I was single. One week after I finished my coursework, I got married (after suddenly meeting my love and getting married VERY quickly). Things were cool and then babies came into the mix and threw everything off! BUT I am here, pushing forward and by God’s grace I will finish.