I knew retirement wouldn’t agree with me. I owned and operated a small business, a dance studio, in Lititz, for forty-four years. I made lasting relationships and looked forward each year to making new memories with the dancers and their families. During the pandemic, I searched for grants and applied for funds and forgivable loans to keep the doors open. The studio reopened and about a year later, grateful the business had survived, I knew it was time to sell. It wasn’t only the letdown of not having a place to go every day, but the feeling I got from discovering new things and succeeding in keeping the doors open that I missed.
I have rediscovered a spark in my life. I put myself in a learning environment in a new social circle of professors and other students in college classes, for the first time, at age 72. Why? Yes, everyone asks me why. Maybe I had this plan all along. In my life, one thing was missing. I’ve always wanted to study English and take Liberal Art classes in college.
I’ve discovered old passions. I’ve found new ones. I’ve learned from a sociology professor with a PhD about how to look at life through those lenses-she talked about her own childhood living in poverty with little food and no medical insurance and how one high school teacher changed her life. I’ve learned from a Fulbright Scholar, a research scientist and a professor with a Doctorate degree in Psychology to be a doubter. Nothing is 100% right. Nothing is 100% wrong. I’ve learned that I can be a writer. That I am a writer. That journaling and creative writing will always be a part of my life because the English Professors with MBA’s and MFA’s have validated and inspired me. ME. Yes, I’ll be 74 next month. This is the best thing I have ever done for me.
What do I want to be? You are still asking why? I want to keep that spark alive for learning and meeting people and putting myself in new situations. I want to be my best self. I want to say I read all the books I wanted to and I took all the classes that interested me. I achieved a 3.85 GPA and am on the Dean’s List at Harrisburg Area
Community College. If that’s not enough reasons why – I want my granddaughters to break barriers, take educational opportunities and tell my story to their grandchildren.