Getting Older and Letting Go
I was diagnosed with depression in 1999 and it started me on a journey of self-discovery. And through the accompanied therapy I have made peace with my past and life's disappointments and changed my outlook on life. I spent my whole life believing if I just found the right man, I would be happy. This outward search for happiness was a dismal failure. Learning that happiness comes from within has saved me. I highly recommend reading "You can be happy no matter what" by Richard Carlson for those who have felt similarly. Adopting the "Don't sweat the small stuff" philosophy freed my mind and heart from years of pain, guilt and suffering.
Also, something happened in my head in 2006 and I stopped caring about what others think of me and worrying about how I look and I started to feel empowered for the first time. I stopped trying to keep up with 20 year olds and accepted this new period of life with happiness. Yes, I'm having problems with my continually escalating weight and I now use reading glasses and I don't hear conversation as well as I used to but I take all this in stride. I look forward to being an eccentric old woman who is her own boss and lives life on her own terms. I feel I've done what society and family requires, marrying and having children, and now it's my turn to decide which way I go. I've decided to stop waiting and start living. I don't fear the future or living alone. Not everything will turn out well but I will continue to learn and grow and I'll roll with it...
As of April 2008 I have a new career as a web designer/developer, my child is almost grown and I'm excited every day when I wake up. It's a brave, new world!
In April 2008 I got my first full-time job in 19 years working for Global Science & Technology on their NASA contract. I am responsible for Web Design, development & Graphic Arts in support of the Hubble Telescope and related websites. (http://sm4.gsfc.nasa.gov http://hubble.nasa.gov http://stis.gsfc.nasa.gov) I also do freelance Web design on the side.
After being recommended by my professor, in February 2002 I got my first job in 13 years as a student intern working part-time with FDIC doing Web Design and Graphic Art for the Strategic Planning Section. Following a division reorganization in 2005, I landed in the Program Management Office (PMO), a new corporate entity, where I was responsible for all web design, development and maintenance and related graphics work. I received a Mission Achievement Award in December 2006 for my web work. I continued working at the FDIC until October 2007 following my graduation from college.
I was a full time Mom to my only child for 14 years, 1989-2002, my most important and fulfilling job.
Prior to that, I was a computer programmer/analyst for 11 years, 1977-1989.
I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Strayer University on June 23, 2007, after attending since September 2004, with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems, specializing in programming.
I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale on May 11, 2004 after attending since January 2000, with an Associate in Applied Science in Information Technology, Specialization Software Development. I studied Web Design, Graphic Art, and Programming. I originally enrolled at NVCC to update my obsolete computer skills after being home raising my only child.
I graduated from Prince Georges Community College in 1977 with an Associate Arts degree in Business Computer Programming.
Personal Growth & Setbacks
In August 1999 I became an American Council of Exercise (ACE) certified Group Fitness Instructor and began teaching classes. I am still teaching for a private company, For Every Body Fitness, at various private sites around Northern Virginia. My forte is Step Aerobics and Deep and Shallow Water Fitness classes.
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the Fall of 2002 resulting in a mastectomy of my right breast. Since that time I have been cancer-free and loving life.
In 1989 while pregnant with my only child, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and nine months after giving birth, I had a hysterectomy. This cancer was caused by a virus for which there is now a vaccine. Please have your daughters vaccinated! No one should have to go through the fear and doubt I did.