Seldom do people say they love their career. It pays the bills and keeps food on the table and is not meant for enjoyment. I challenge this societal rule! Doing what I love is as much persistence as it is perception. I persisted on creating a life I thought I should want all throughout my 20s. Get married, find a quiet home out in the country, find a good job, and settle down. Turns out, I didn’t know what I wanted. All I knew is that I didn’t want the mess I created. I persisted for all the wrong reasons. The good news is that diligence writes history. The past is studded with individuals who never gave up on their dreams…never gave up on themselves. My desire is no different. Now 35, I am finishing my associate’s degree and pursuing a bachelor’s in Art Conservation at Columbia College of Chicago. Not only will I be a non-traditional student, I will give up my apartment, my pet, and my full-time job. My senior year will be in Florence, Italy – an opportunity to study the history and culture that surrounded me as a child growing up in Europe. I am called to this career not for money or prestige. By preserving, maintaining, and restoring artifacts, history is not forgotten. The voice of artists, authors, inventors, sculptors, and carpenters whisper through the delicate remains of their works. My hope is to keep their voices alive – the voice of perseverance.