I'm going back soon to being something that I never thought I would be again.
I graduated from college in 1991 and felt a great sense of relief in the thought that I would never be in school again. I enjoyed school, learning and all that, but I was ready to get on with life and not have to deal with the structure of school.
I wasn't the greatest student anyway. I did all right, but I could have done better. When I look back on my academic performance in college, I regret some of the habits I fell into.
Since college, every once in a while I will dream that something I did then comes back to haunt me, like I lose a promotion, or have to go back and retake a class for no significant reason-I just do. After having those dreams, I always felt the same way: thank God that part of my life is over.
Well, it isn't.
I graduated with a degree in English after spending the first two years of college as a business student. I had to take a fuller than full load of classes my last semester to graduate in four years, and I wasn't interested in sticking around any longer, so I did not pursue the teaching aspect. I went into a career in retail, because I had experience, I was good at it, and I wanted to get going in making a living.
I did that for twelve years. I did it very well. But it was not my life's work, not what I was supposed to do for the rest of my days, so when the opportunity came to kiss it all goodbye, I did. I wanted some time off. I wanted to wander.
I wound up wandering a lot longer than I ever anticipated. I'm still wandering, and I'm going to be wandering for a little while longer.
I told myself that when I went back into the world, I was going to do so with a career that I loved, that I would look forward to doing every day. It's an easy thing to say, but a little harder to find.
I've been writing as a hobby for most of my life, but I never thought I would do it professionally.
But as I continued to wander, the same question popped into my head: why not?
Why not? So I tried it, but I knew little of it. I thought motivation would be all I would need to be successful. Motivation is a good thing, but people can't really see it, not when you are just starting out, when you need something to prove yourself.
If I heard it once, I heard it...well, I heard it a lot. "Where'd you get your MFA?"
(That Masters of Fine Arts, not Money For Anything)
So in about 18 months, when someone asks me where I got my MFA, I'll actually have an answer for them. I'm going back to school.
I start next month. And I am very much looking forward to it. In some way and some form, I am going to be a professional writer.
About damn time.