RHG Magazine & TV Guide Summer 2017 - Page 15


Standing center-stage at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon, I felt as if I was living a dream. But it was real! I didn’t have to pretend that someday I’d be working on my college degree by attending Spring Quarter in London because at this moment in time I was on a field trip getting a guided backstage tour.

Long ago, I got lost in the pages of books and imagined myself on the silver screen of the local movie theater. I longed to be famous, beautiful and talented. My real identity was that of a shy, quiet and unremarkable small town girl. So how did I come to have a “center stage” experience and the many wonderful things that have happened since?

No, I did not have a fairy godmother, marry a prince, or apprentice to a wizard. It may sound simple, but I decided to rewrite my story and create my own happy endings.

I did not attend college as a fresh faced 18-year-old. I was 30-year-old married woman. It had been my dream to study journalism. After graduating high school my dream didn’t seem practical. I pursued a One Year Secretarial Certificate for my higher education instead. Although the skills I learned at junior college have served me well for many years, there came a point where life as a wife and secretary wasn’t enough for me.

The undetermined cause of infertility made me restless to do something different. I longed to change my story and be the leading lady instead of a supporting player in my life. When the doctor suggested we not focus so much on trying to get pregnant, I decided I’d throw myself into something completely different. Oh, we were not giving up on having a baby and were approved as adoptive parents by Catholic Charities. While we were waiting for our name to move up the list, I applied to go to college full time.

Now, about standing center stage at the Royal Shakespeare Company. My freshman year I saw a flyer advertising Spring Quarter in London. London is my favorite city in the world and I began plotting how I could seize this opportunity.

Of course, there were the practical questions to be addressed: could I afford the tuition, price of airfare, and what would my

husband do without me for three months? To which I reasoned: as far as the money was concerned, that’s what student loans are for. And my

Live a Life Unleashed


A Column

by Mary Knippel

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RHG Magazine & TV Guide TM - Summer 2017 © All rights reserved.