Friday, October 22, 2010

Forever Young

Going back to school is risky business.

You maybe at points in your life felt on track or ahead of the game. Maybe you were settled and you could do such things as plant perennials and acquire a decent piece of furniture. Maybe you had income and even someone to help you spend it.

But in time the appearance of a game dissolved and you realized there were no rules and nothing was anything but a really heavy piece of furniture to move from a place you didn't think you ever had to. Oh, and the people who move in after you rip out your flowers cause they think they are weeds.

And all the King's Men put you back together and while you wander you go backward, wondering where you got lost, trying to find an old trail you used to run down willy nilly.

I picked mine up at the corner I turned left away from law school and accidentally charged down a dead end. Until five years after I first applied, I went to law school.

The trouble and chaos picked up from there.

The summer before I started back I was surrounded by milestones. People I loved moving up and on in life while I hit "rewind." Naturally, this is not by far easy, its an independent struggle that will make you feel very very alone.

I was going back in time in so many ways. I submerged myself with people nearly a whole decade younger than me. I had a gym, locker, cafeteria and a dance in said gym. I was reintroduced to gossip, the rumor mill and four dollar pitcher night. I was up all night reading and adding kid cuddy to my iPod. Going back has been intense.

In so many ways I feel like that line in "Away We Go" when Maya Rudolph's character says "I think we're fuck ups." I have so little of the basic things in my life figured out which is so incredibly ironic given the fact that at the age of 23 I not only owned a house but also three sets of china. I am so random I sometimes work my life out of order.

So often my next three months are in the air. I don't know where I will be living, how I will support myself, what classes I will take, damn - I don't even have a person to list as an emergency contact.

In class we did an exercise to fill out our own health care proxy form, that was awful. Immediately the room spun around me and I almost had to get up to leave and have a nice cry. As if I needed a mid-week reminder that I don't even have a person designated to pull the plug. With the order or hierarchy decided by NYS it would go through three degrees of separation before falling on my siblings to decide. Wow.

In the end I named my old and dear friend Cat, I dropped her an email that read something to the key of "You'll know what to do, I've had a good run. Donate everything burn the rest."

Sorry - morbid. No, going back part-time for your MBA or Masters while working and still progressing in your normal evolving life probably doesn't sound anything like this.

I happen to be seeing a man who decided to go back for a second bachelor's. I think that was a gutsy risk but where it leaves us is a city away from each other with homework and no gas money. Which brings me to my realization.

I have the life of a sixteen year old.

I have a part time job
I go to school full time
I do not own a car
I ride my bike everywhere
I have a messy locker
I sometimes forget my lunch money
I relax by checking my facebook
I only get to hang out with my boyfriend on weekends
If we have gas money and time off from our part-time jobs
I constantly think of my life in the future when I am "grown"
I am jealous of the Daddy's girls with their Visa cards and Christmas presents

On the plus side most people have no idea I am so much older than them at school. Education will help you stay forever young. The down side is knowing you were programmed to take care of people but all you have is yourself.

In about seven weeks I will be halfway through law school. I am thankful everyday that have this opportunity. Its that part in the race where you'd just be thankful to be on the back stretch.

But its not a race, there is no game and there are no rules.

If I can remind myself of that more often I can cherish all the simplicity that is my current life. All I have to do is learn.

1 comment:

  1. I hear you Mary! I did it at 30, except I had a car, payment and all. TH