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  • Writer's pictureMaria A. Mansfield

It's Never Too Late

Growing up I wasn’t an A student, but I probably ranked somewhere in the middle of my class. Unfortunately, after I finished high school, I wasn’t able to go to college. I started working pretty young, then met my husband a few years later and got married. We had two boys. Loved every minute of it and I also enjoyed being a stay-at-home-Mom. We also moved a lot because of my husband's work so we got to travel.

However, after I had my second son, I got sick with clinical depression. I was sick for ten long years. I also had anxiety and bipolar class II towards the end of that decade. I felt like a lot of things in my life were put on hold during this time, until I was able to recover. In my book, “Life is Worth Getting Better” I talk about my journey of recovery from these terrible mental illnesses. Today I live with my family and feel totally recovered. My boys are late teens now, but I’m still in the game. When you’re a Mom, you’re a Mom for life!

In spite of being sick for so long, I’ve managed to fulfill quite a lot of my bucket list. Although there was one thing I really wanted to do, it seemed to be in the back of my mind all these years. What I really wanted was to go back to school, to learn and to use my own experience to help others.

Depression is like a friend who betrays you. It has a way of diminishing you and whatever dreams you had, to zero. It tells your mind you’re not good enough. That you can’t do what you really would love because you’re sick! It convinces you that you will never measure up and that your whole life you’ll be at a disadvantage because you have a condition, even if you learn to live with it. The worse part, we think that’s true so we believe it in our hearts and so we get stuck. We give up. We let opportunities go by.

But can I tell you? I refused to live my life like this. So after a long eighteen-month intense outpatient therapy treatment, and the grace of God; I recovered from the depression, the anxiety, and bipolar II.

After getting better, I realized I was a lot less insecure and more self- aware. I was giving myself permission to do what I thought was best for me, instead of always making everyone else a priority. Please don’t get me wrong. I love my family. They are my life. Yet I believe, there comes a time in every person’s life, that we need to pursue, what we feel is our purpose.

This last September, I decided, this was my time. I would go back to school and study. I wanted to redeem the opportunity I seemed to have lost earlier on. Of course, I thought of all the reasons why I couldn’t do it! Then, after considering them all I signed up anyway. I was so inspired by a lady at the hospital, where I volunteer, who just graduated this past summer from University at age 65. I thought, if she can do it at 65, I sure can try at 46!

So here I am studying Psychology and Social Work online. I never thought I would be able to do this and here I’ve just finished my fourth exam. I’m thrilled about it! School is cool! I feel I can do this even if I haven’t studied in a very long time. I feel empowered, happy and fulfilled. I know it’s just the beginning, but still it’s a very big deal to me.

Is there something you’ve given up on thinking it’s too late in life?

Who told you you’ve missed your chance? If you still have the dream in you, then it’s never too late to start. I challenge you to go for it! Start what you’ve always wanted to do, -that one thing that makes you feel alive.

I encourage you to do it even if it seems crazy or that all the odds are against you. Go ahead! There's never really the perfect time to start, it seems. Haven't you waited long enough already? I have to agree with Miss Doris Lessing. She said: “Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.”

Don’t think of all the reasons why it’s not going to work, or you’ll talk yourself out of it. If something goes wrong, don’t give up on your dream; just change the plan.

Don’t think: “What if I fail?” instead, think: “What if I succeed?” and “Where will I go from here?”

It's never too late to pursue your dream. TODAY'S looking really good! Start by writing your ideas down and see where they go. You can do it!

All the best,



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