Usually when I tell people I’m going back to school, the general response is really positive: “Good for you! That’s amazing! What an opportunity! etc, etc” essentially giving me everything I need to hear in terms of positive reinforcement for my decision.
Yesterday I was minding my own business at work when someone came up to me and basically spoke my fears out loud in a point blank series of statements:
“I would never consider going back to school. Why are doing it? Seems weird since you already have a master’s degree. You don’t need more then one. Are you really sure you want to do this?”
And the kicker when I told him it was in Journalism:
“You know, you aren’t going to make any money doing that.”
Ooooo Boi! You did NOT just crap on my dreams. (finger snap).
Except in real life I was so flabbergasted and irritated that the best response I could come up with was (Porky Pig style bedeebedeebedee):
“It’s not all about money or fame.”
To which he sucked his breath in and just shook his head dismissively and walked away.
I was livid. I was so put off. Who was this guy? I hardly even knew him. He is new to the environment and before this unwarranted non-advice, we had had a total of one conversation (in which he couldn’t grasp the difference between entering into studies and “going back to school.” For the record, there’s a difference: “going back” implies, I’m currently in the middle of a program. Entering in a new program means, this is a whole new step in my life. So the nuance, in my opinion, is important.)
At any rate, with steam coming from my ears I fumed in front of my computer for the rest of the day, until I unleashed the same fury on mike that night:
“How dare he try to tell me what’s a good life plan and what isn’t. I mean it’s not like I asked him for advice in the first place.”
Mike, being the awesome-est partner that he is, completely agreed with me. He gave me everything I needed to hear. “This guy’s a nobody, a drone, he’s unhappy and he’s trying to make other people unhappy. You are probably doing what he knows he would never have the courage to do.”
So those thoughts and reassuring statements helped calm me down a bit.
And then I was finally able to reflect.
I knew I was being defensive. I knew the reason I was so injured by this guy’s comments was directly related to the fact that he was just speaking out loud my own fears and insecurities.
I’ve been turning to everyone I trust, (and even in writing on here), asking for reassurance that what I’m doing is the right thing. Tell me it’s a good thing. Tell me it will work out in the end, tell me it’s worth a gamble to do something that you love, even if you don’t know where it will take you.
The amazing thing that happened, is that when you feel attacked, you defend yourself. As much as I hate to admit it, I owe this guy a thank-you.
He put me in a position where I had to put it in my own words, out-loud that this is what I want. I already knew it, but I needed to justify my decision when faced with adversity. This justification didn’t come from the mouths of my parents, my boyfriend, or my close friends and colleagues who all believe in me; It came from me.
And I did it. It was meek, but it was there:
It’s not all about fame and money. Yes money is important, but it’s worth it to me to try to do something that makes me happy. That’s what I told him. And that’s me saying all alone, that this is a good thing.
ps. ya sure, he might have done me a favour but for the record I’m totally snubbing him on a point of precedence… (ok pride).
Happy Friday Everyone!