Well, not quite yet, of course.
I have a long way to go. But I have it in my scope and it’s on my horizon. I don’t know how I’ve always known that one day I’ll be a doctor. When I was in Nursing (20 years ago), I was a top med. student (Phi Theta Kappa) and found out that I was really good in school. Who knew? I was an awful student in high school, elementary, and probably even kindergarten. But a destructive home life (and excessive abuse) played its heavy hand in my poor academics. I was traumatized year after year, because I had to live with the person who molested me. That wasn’t easy. Let’s just say I wasn’t given the same shot as others in life, starting out.
But perhaps this is why I’m so driven to succeed. I’m destined to be a success because I feel it. Just because I’m not who I want to be “right now” doesn’t mean that I won’t become who I know God is carving me out to be. He’s already shown me what my potential is: I just have to do the work. When the time comes- He’ll open the doors.
So I’ve decided to move in the direction of my greatest passion of all- even greater than photography and singing: criminal profiling. That’s right: I want to be the one who stalks the serial killers. This June I’ll be starting on my BA in Forensic Psychology, and then my goal is to work on my MA in Forensic Psychology and ultimately, my doctorate.
I suppose my childhood had something to do with my interest in criminology. My Dad used to read True Detective magazines- religiously. He was a single parent and was concerned about some of us kids roaming the streets. He wanted to show us what the world was really like. So, he sat my brothers and me down and shared with us the stories of many unfortunate women. The pics were in black and white and so the bloody crime scenes were particularly disturbing because the smeared blood was a hideous thick black. It altered the way I viewed things: I was 7, 8, 9 and 10.
For years we saw those photos: women who’d been mutilated, decapitated, and “posed” by their killer intentionally, to leave a message for the police. It was the killer’s calling card. Now I won’t agree with this style of parenting- it’s extreme. But I will say, it worked, because every time I thought about hitching a ride or getting in someone’s car, I saw those grizzly crime scenes: no doubt it saved my life many times.
When I was a teenager, I read every serial killer book I could get my hands on: Gacy, Bundy, The Green River Killer, Son of Sam, Richard Ramirez (the Night Stalker), TBK killer- the list is very long. For the next 20 years I studied criminology on my own, and for my own interest. I learned about luminol and other forensic applications, crime scenes, basic protocol, and various other areas of investigative work. Even now, the majority of all of the shows I watch are true crime: ID TV: Investigative Discovery.
I always knew I wanted to be a doctor, but not a medical one. And, I’ve always wanted to be a scientist, but not one who studies genes. Now I see clearly the direction I want to go in and the direction I’ve been prepping for my whole life: Forensic Psychology, also known as, criminal profiling.
The dog bite on my right ring finger recently was a blessing in disguise. Because I was unable to type for weeks, I had to hand write all of my notes out. And still I do. I have folders that are full of my note-taking and studies in my courses: it’s caused me to be able to retain almost all of my work.
I’m excited about this new direction I’m taking. it’s fairly common to fishtail around for the first few years in school and I’ve done my share of it, but I’ve never been more certain about anything in my life. This is right for me.
I’m 44 years old. My goal is to get my doctorate before I’m 50. It’s a lofty goal! But I’m dedicated.
Things are going great with Josh too. (This week.) We’ve decided to remain amicable (and VERY platonic) for the duration of the next few months. I’m so close to buying my own home! We’ve decided to have separate homes but remain in each others lives and help support each other in our scholastic endeavors. I want to be a profiler, he wants to build airplanes and fly them. I’m encouraging him to move in the direction of aerospace engineering. He’s got a brilliant mind and he’s without a doubt one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever known.
So I’m off to finish up a karyotyping/meiosis assignment in Biology. I’ve been reinstated in my Intro. to Social Work class which is good, but that means that I now have to knock out 4 months of work in only two. I’ve got this. 😉
Mr. Bob Hedge, himself (AKA: my son) /Helios film 44-2/natural lighting
So Josh is in the living room belting out a rock-blues ballad that he’s making up as he’s going along. Today we’re rejoicing: he just got a new job and I’m changing majors from Sociology to Criminal Justice. Hoo ha! I’m pretty excited about it. I’m thinking, I need to knock back this school thing while I’m in school-mode. A few more years! Two and a half, in fact. I’ve been told that up to 90 of my credit hours could transfer over to my BS in Criminal Justice. I’m pretty happy about that. Sociology is great and all, and I’m most passionate about that, but at the end of it all I’m going to need a jobby job, as in, actual “career”. Sociology doesn’t ensure that but Criminal Justice does. My dream job would be as a criminal psychologist or a Profiler, but that requires no less than a Master’s degree. Hmmm…we’ll see. I’ve decided to move in the direction of a probation officer for starters.
My plan is never vague or blurry when I calculate one. I gather facts, research, strategize, formulate the plan clearly, and execute it precisely. So the new plan is this (which could change at any time, mind you, but for now, it’s a done deal):
Short Term Goals
- Transfer 30-60 Behavioral Sciences credit hours over to SNHU and apply them to new BS in Criminal Justice
- Receive BS in Criminal Justice
- Build up community work with PBS/Peanut Butter Soup– my children’s book- volunteer, etc. or possible school readings (This is the area that needs most attention) Ulterior motive: bulk up resume + gain experience
Long Term Goals
- Work as probation officer/secure job for $30,000 to $35,000 annually-starting pay- minimum
(The starting pay for most probation officer jobs is $35,000-$40,000)
- Continue with Master’s degree in down time/online- snails’ pace, obviously (never more than two courses at any time)
(Studying Criminal Psychology)
- Work to pay off student loans and other debt (which is minimal)
I never envisioned moving into the direction of law enforcement (gasp!) but as a probation officer, I would need to be a licensed gun carrier, and, carry a badge. Yep. A badge. I’m halfway through the semester and am miraculously holding on to my A’s (and a B), so I’ll transition over to my new University in June to begin work on my Bachelor’s. Exciting stuff!
It’s interesting to think that the same prospect only one month ago made me want to shake, shudder, and run for the hills. That’s what utter loneliness can do for the soul! Despondency and silence eat away at the core until everything looks so grey and near impossible to achieve. I had predicted that my heart would thaw out this spring: who knew? 🙂
But love indeed has taken its toll on me and I’m helplessly goofy and happy lately. Josh makes an incredibly strong impact on me. Isn’t it funny how different people will reflect different parts of us? He reflects genuine goodness and he brings that out in me. I mentioned this to him one day and his reply was this, “I only reflect back what I see.”
The kitchen is a wreck and I’m still in my PJ’s at 3:11 in the afternoon, but the sound of the electric guitar in the living room tells me to relax- take a break- smile, and let the dishes marinate a while longer.
Love has its ole hook in me once again.