The one thing that I have done for myself, while taking care of my mother, is to work toward a master's degree in educational psychology. While my bachelor's degree is in astronomy and I intend to earn a Ph.D. in astrophysics, I chose this particular master's program because I want to be the best teacher that I can be as a future university professor.
Looking back, I can remember sitting in an undergraduate physics course in a large lecture hall observing my professor and thinking that he looked as though he clearly would rather be doing his research instead of teaching the mass of students in that space. It was at that moment that I realized that I did not want to be like him in that regard. While I do want to do research and write, I also enjoy teaching. I want to be the best that I can be at all three. So, before heading off to work on my Ph.D. in astrophysics, I decided to go for this master's degree in education.
There was another motivation for choosing this program in learning, cognition, and development, though. In addition to being the best teacher that I can be, I also want to be a better student. It is really important to me to not only be able to effectively deliver content to my students as an instructor, but also to be able to share with them what I have learned along the way as a fellow student. In addition to showing them what we know about the universe, I want to show them how they can maximize their academic performance and guide them in the direction of their dreams. In other words, I want to be for them the professor that I needed when I was where they are.
I was once told that one of the keys to happiness is to have a flexible path with regard to reaching for your goals. The lesson here is that when something like family responsibilities takes you on a detour, no matter how long, you can still keep heading in the same general direction. The important thing to remember is to keep taking steps in that direction every day. Persistence will get you there, no matter what the obstacles are. You just have to figure out how to go around them, or as in my case, through them.