Ralph Waldo Emerson: Self Reliance Prompt #11

Surprise by Ashley Ambirge

breaking the bonds of bridal

I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself.  How will you surprise yourself this week?

(Author: Ashley Ambirge)

Sob story 😦

Imagine this picture: I had just closed my business two months ago and was hanging out at the gym every day. I did not know which direction to turn, as I felt completely lost, as if my legs had been cut out from under me. For the past 15 years, I was identified as the owner of a thriving bridal shop in Reno Nevada. Now I was just another loser sitting at home feeling sorry for herself.

My husband Robert knew that if he didn’t act quickly, I might stay in this funk for a long time to come. At the time I was seeing a therapist (I am not embarrassed to admit this. I needed the help at the time) and Robert went to a session with me to discuss next steps for. Robert brought up the idea of me going back to school. Don’t get me wrong, I was not totally opposed to the idea, but I had just closed a major chapter in my life and wanted to de-compress for a while longer.

What what what?

 Half-expecting my therapist to side with me  on starting a new life at a later point in time, he totally threw me under the bus when he agreed with Robert that I needed to start school ASAP. They both felt (and I later agreed, but much later) the best thing for me was to dive in with both feet. The new semester was beginning in one week. I hadn’t registered for any classes, but that was not an obstacle either. I was not only expected to go to school, but crash classes in order to get in. Could this get much worse?


The first day of school rolled in, and I wanted to crawl into a hole and hide. At the time I was 37 years old. How was I expected to sit in a class full of 18 year old kids? Fear was about to overtake me when Robert reached out and told me to get in the car; he was driving me to the first class. Robert guessed there was a 50% chance I would actually go to class. By taking and sitting with me, I had no choice.

What I didn’t expect was to love school from the start. I felt a great surge in energy from this new found passion. No longer some loser alone in the world, I was a college student. Fast forward three years later, and I walked as a college graduate. I did not think it was ever going to happen for, and had accepted my fate. Giving up the chance to complete my degree when I was younger, that chapter had closed permanently (or had it really?).

As a result of that fateful day in the therapist’s office, I was able to do something I never thought possible. Further education was next for me. Upon graduation, I immediately entered the MBA program at the university. I knew if I didn’t dive right in, I might never go back again. Another three years has gone by and now the MBA will be complete in December. Pretty good for someone that didn’t think it possible to even sit in a college class again.

Next surprise?

OK, now I am being challenged to surprise myself this week. After graduation, I want to work somewhere in social media. I will surprise myself by again jumping in with both feet and find a way to incorporate my customer experience knowledge and people skills and my love for social media into a career. Let’s see what happens when I put myself out there to the universe. If I can go back to school, get 2 degrees in 6 years, I can do anything.

2 thoughts on “Ralph Waldo Emerson: Self Reliance Prompt #11

  1. Bhavin Gandhi says:

    Hey Miriam,

    Really nice blog. I especially liked your description about the School’s experience at 37 :).

    Well, I wish you all the best for your career initiative in social media. Good luck!!


    1. miriamgomberg says:

      Bahvin, thanks for commenting. School was definitely scary at 37. Now I’m used to it and I don’t care if I am the oldest one in class. I need all the good luck I can get. Miriam


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