Distinction nerd.

Do you believe in positive reinforcement? The Secret’s theory of attracting to yourself what you put out into the universe? I do, I’m a bit of a space cadet, actually, and not so secretly a bit hippiefied. So recently (thanks to Meta) I’ve been trying to do some introspection (hence yesterday’s blog post), and one of the things that I’ve kept to myself for years is how insecure I’ve felt about my lack of education. Of course, because I’ve been insecure about it I do the exact opposite of what you’d expect and for years have blurted out “well I’m a high school drop out with a couple of diplomas, so what, my career never needed any of my qualifications anyway and I’ve done just fine thank you very much”.

Except, inside, whenever any of my peers or friends casually mentioned their masters, degrees and MBAs, I’ve felt myself shrink a little. I often change the subject or find another person to chat to in a party. Oh, it’s not that I didn’t want to go back and finish off the degrees I’d always been interested in (Psychology for one), I just never got there. And then life happened and I forgot about it mostly, until the inevitable “so what did you study after school?” question. Well, my navel for one. My (late) daughter for another. The inside of one too many rolled Mary Janes, perhaps. When I was 19 and Kiera died, I told myself I was going to go overseas and make enough money to come back and finish off the Psychology degree I’d always been keen on. Neither happened.

Despite this, lately with this exploration journey I’ve been on I’m trying to reinforce my self worth, ambition and love. And just yesterday I put it to the universe that I wanted a sign that I was good enough, that I am worthy, that my past won’t always haunt me or the person I’m trying to become.

Recently, for a potential retainer with a big name client, I was asked to produce the qualification certificates I do have under my belt and found that because I’ve never really regarded them as anything worthy, I’d lost them. Weeks later, I’ve managed to finally get hold of the college and speak to an actual human who was prepared to make an effort to help me. Not an hour ago I received good news regarding the certificates, and a bonus surprise: a distinction in English that I never knew I had earned.

It might seem so insignificant to others, but to me it was a little poke from my past saying that I wasn’t all bad, all drop out, all rebel. There was a raw, natural intelligence that just went ignored by me. It was the universe (and yes, God’s) way of saying “hi Sheen, you’re ok, ok? Well done & keep going”.

And it couldn’t have come on a better day, today is the day Kiera would have turned 13. A lifetime missed out on, potential never reached, memories never shared or lived. I was feeling very emotional and sad and guilty on her birthday this morning. Since Aiden was born I’ve felt a sense of guilt that Kiera got the stupid, young teenager mom when Aiden got the older, more sophisticated version (to a degree, let’s not get crazy now). But now I feel like this was a bit of a sign from her too, to say that her mom might have been young and made stupid choices, but she wasn’t all bad. That she was worthy, that she would always end up ok.

So, go li’l me. I’m friggen proud of you. Distinction nerd.


  1. Stephanie Millar says:

    (Instant tears as soon as you wrote about your daughter’s birthday. Happy birthday, Kiera).

    I love your brain… and distinctions aside, I love the way you write.

    But I hear you! Sometimes when I doubt my copywriting abilities, I quietly remind myself that I once earned (and deserved) the copywriting award I was given in my final year at Vega, which is no small feat either.

    It’s nice to have that tangible evidence that our brains rock.

  2. Kate Kearney says:

    There’s a spelling error in this article.

    I joke.

    Well done! English is one of the hardest languages to write, never mind master, so this is a huge feather in your cap. You should be very proud.

    With love – a fellow degree-less blogger x

  3. Angel says:

    I do exactly the same as you! I dropped out of high school because I was pregnant with my knucklehead, and I attempted to get my matric via correspondence, but with my complete lack of self-control, working full time, and my baby – my “matriculation” isn’t worth the paper its printed on.
    I do wish I had made more of my education, especially when I lament where I am in my life and how much better I could have done…
    And I also dread it coming up in conversation! :/
    And I am proud of you too!
    Angel recently posted…I Miss You, My Daddy DarlingMy Profile

  4. Debbie says:

    I feel the urge to tell you that you are better than you think you are, kinder, smarter and more lovely than you give yourself credit for but I don’t even know you so that would sound odd. But, I have read your posts about Keira and if there’s one thing you should believe, its that she had absolutely everything she needed for as long as she graced this earth. She had a mom who loved and adored and cared for her. Who’s whole world stopped just to be by her side everyday. And that’s all that she ever needed.

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