Ghost of College Past (and DIY MFA Rekindle)

I lost college over a decade ago.  I went through the year of depression and the slow emergence from the darkness.  During that time, I got married to the love of my eternity and we moved into our apartment; I had huge events and goals to plan for, so it gave me direction amid the rubble of my plans.

After settling into our apartment, I thought I could pick up college again.  I talked about it... what it would take.  But a condition of public housing (the only thing we'll ever be able to afford) is that my husband and I don't attend college.

And then... my complex health decided to turn into a pretzel of insidious tomfoolery.
From the time I could speak, everyone assumed I'd go to college.  I started school at age three and was considered "bright".  Teachers told me I'd do great things.  My mom would tell me how amazing and smart I was... definitely college-bound.  Relatives said I'd live a life sewing buttons on shirts at Goodwill if I didn't go to college.  I was asked if I wanted to be a useless lump on public assistance my whole life.  Worse things... more pressure from strangers and family alike.  

And I wanted to attend college.  It was my golden ticket to the Wonka Factory of my future.  Everything good and prosperous began with that degree.  I wouldn't make enough money for my medical insurance without it... couldn't afford a $30,000 accessible van without it.  It would help me be a productive citizen.
I still feel like I need college, even though it won't be possible unless I win the lottery.  Maybe it's because I was told I'd be nothing without that piece of paper.  Maybe because I feel like I'm not a legitimate poet without it (which is untrue and poetry wouldn't be my major, anyway).  Perhaps because I'm used to having big, life-changing goals to work towards and now... nothing.

What would I get out of it?  My chronic pain and other disabilities/conditions make a full-time job impossible, so it wouldn't help me that way.  If I want to stare down a big accomplishment, I can reminisce fondly about getting through the hell that was radiation therapy.  If I want a fancy piece of paper, I can print and frame one.  I'm (sadly) not the kind of person to acquire a bunch of friends and contacts, either.
The only real benefit I can take from college is knowledge, but I don't need college to learn.  There is a plethora of resources out there on pretty much every subject imaginable.  There are even some free college-level courses out there, if I feel I need something similar to academic instruction.

Since knowledge seems to be the benefit, I might try another DIY MFA experience.  The last one I did produced mixed results, partly because it's so difficult for me to find my own community.  I just hope it feels like I'm doing something big enough to quiet the "must work on huge goals" section of my brain.

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