This is, of course, a HUGE time of transition for all of us as we figure out what the “new normal” is going to look like. Well, I started working on my new normal about a year and a half ago. It just so happens that my major adjustment is coinciding with massive societal upheaval.
This weekend, I am transitioning out of being a bookstore owner and focusing on my preparation for my first year of law school. I will begin my legal education at the ripe old age of forty-one-and-a-half, and will graduate just after turning forty-four. So, yeah, I’m pretty excited about that!
I’m not excited about letting go of the bookstore, but I know it’s the correct choice at this time. I had been contemplating all sorts of ways I could have kept it going through my three years as a full-time student, but all of them would have involved TRULY Not-Good Ideas. So, one small blessing to come from the government-mandated shutdown of non-essential businesses was that it gave me the kick in the pants I needed to just cut my losses and close the store down. <sigh>
Many, many customers (strangers, too) have been supportive of my decision to go to law school. Truly excited for me, even. Some others, though, have said the oddest things: “That’s going to be so hard!” Really? Why would anyone say that? That’s not 100% helpful. “How are you going to do that?” You want me to run through all the details of my finances and child care plans? Or do you think I haven’t thought through the many, many effects this will have on my family and life?
I know, I know. This is how these people are expressing their concern for me and my well-being. I get that. I think I’m uncomfortable with these questions because my responses to them are so far from the expected script that I’m then in the position of making the initial ask-er uncomfortable. However, I can’t just respond with “I know! Its going to be tough, but we’ll make it work.” That’s way too passive a response to expect from me. No way, man. So, my answers of “Probably not much harder than holding five jobs,” or “I’ve got it all worked out (followed by a blank stare indicating I’ve no intention of sharing details),” tend to lead to uncomfortable silences. Ah, well. I haven’t really followed the expected script since I graduated high school — ironically enough for someone who spent over a decade as a professional stage manager. C’est la vie.
I’m very excited to start school, though. There’s a little introductory, skills-building class online in three weeks. Then orientation begins in person in mid-August. And then we’re off to the races! I don’t really expect to come up for air until mid-October, and then again in December. But then I’ll have a solid six weeks for winter break. I don’t remember having THAT much time off between semesters in college, but I’ll take it! Maybe it’s a grad school thing… Anyway, that’s my latest big step. I don’t think it falls under the category of “Not Good Idea”, though. It’s certainly a large idea, a significant one. It will change everything. But, I honestly think it’s a Pretty Good Idea. Sometimes I have those, too. Sometimes. And sometimes they even work out as well as my Not Good Ideas do.