Dear approximately five awesome people that will read this,
I’m going to tell you something first. (Well, second technically, my wife sort of has to be first.)
I was wrong.
I made the wrong choice.
I don’t want to be a lawyer. Never did really.
What I wanted was to know that I COULD be a lawyer if I so chose. I wanted to know I was capable. I wanted someone to confirm that I was smart.
I think I almost even managed to convince myself that I could live with this decision.
Moment of truth: Realizing I have never made the statement, “I want to be a lawyer.”
And I won’t. Because I don’t.
I wanted to do something. I felt like I’d wasted a lot of time and I needed to make a decision. I batted around lots of ideas, including public interest law. And then someone told me they didn’t think I could get into law school.
Pretty much sealed the deal.
I got in.
I almost wish they’d been right. Because then I could have kept being Cinderella at the ball, making the decision not to decide. If I wasn’t smart enough to get in, clearly I wasn’t supposed to do it.
Because it failed to consider what would happen if I WAS smart enough. Oops.
I also realized that it was easy to share my law school journey with everyone I crossed paths with. It was easy because I didn’t care. If I hadn’t got in, I’d have eaten a little crow and moved on with my life. Never would have thought twice about it. So I could share the anticipation and the test anxiety and the build-up and the results. Because I didn’t care.
Self realization: I play my cards real close to my chest if I care about the outcome. I don’t share the things that matter. I don’t tell people the things that I really want. Because if I do and they don’t work then I am left facing the world with nothing to show for anything. My failure becomes public. And I am way too big of a coward to face that.
But maybe I can fix that.
I am taking steps to remedy this colossal life mistake. And I am going to tell the world about them. And I am going to tell them that I desperately want things to work out. And if they do, I am going to celebrate with people who truly understand how much it meant. And if I fail, then I guess I will have to face that, too. And I am gonna hate it. Immensely.
This is out of character for me, to expose myself. You’d think blogging on the internet about the perils of being an adult was exposure, but it doesn’t feel nearly as risky as this.
So here it is. My new plan.
1. I am applying to the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study. I am going to apply to an MA program that will allow me to combine my interests and talents into a cohesive program of study. I want to study advocacy and education through the performing arts, with special emphasis on education and enrichment for people from their late teens to their early thirties because I think that demographic gets forgotten a lot outside of the collegiate environment. I want to take performance classes and women’s studies classes and classes in arts management and choreography and directing and etc etc etc. There is literally no limit on the ways you can combine your passions in this program. It is self-professed as the perfect program for the performer/scholar and that description is spot on for me. So there you go. I want this. I want desperately to get into this program. And it’s a long shot. They only admit about 15 people in the spring. But I’m hopeful that maybe I could be one of them.
2. I am going to finish this semester. Both because I have to and because failure has never been a viable option for me. But then I am done. I know it’s a great opportunity, but it’s not the right opportunity, and my accepting this scholarship takes it away from someone who really wants it. Law school is not right for me. But- this isn’t a decision I made lightly. I am relatively certain pretty much anyone in my life over the age of 50 is going to be horrifically disappointed in me. This is the first time in my life that I’ve had universal familial approval and that’s going to be a wrench to give up. It’s nice being the one everyone is proud of. But I think maybe it’ll be even nicer to be the one that I am proud of.
3. I am going to find a way to get theatre and dance back in my life somehow. I am healthier and happier when I am doing what I love.
These are the changes I am focusing on. These are the things that I need. Because regardless of how stable and lucrative a career I could have on my current path, I have to try to believe that my own mental health and happiness are worth more and that if I can take steps to do what I love, everything else will fall into place.