This Grad School Thing

In my ponderings for my future, I’ve wondered aloud and silently…am I too old?

Now, hear me out. I know it’s never too late. I know that age is just a number. I absolutely believe that education is there for anyone at any time…leap and grab that opportunity! One hundred percent I support and believe all of that.

My point was…I’m 40 years old. This track, this Masters then perhaps Doctorate track..that’s a long time to invest into another career. Should I, realistically, look at another avenue, in order to have the life I want sometime before I’m 80 years old. Is it irresponsible to just want to do this, when I maybe should look somewhere else for money/benefits/stablility that will pay off earlier than this grad school thing. (Thats what I’m calling it. This Grad School Thing.)

Hazel Soares was 94 when she finished! **

Whit left a comment yesterday, that got me to thinking about how we perceive ourselves…in my mind? I’ve never really left academia. But there are many many people in my life today who only know me via banging hair. Some don’t even know I have my degree at all. I mean, why would someone work all that time for a B.A. and then just go be a hair stylist? Right? Don’t laugh. I’ve had women in my chair ask me just exactly that, disdain dripping from their voice, razor blades in their tone.

But we are continiously reinventing ourselves. Madonna taught us how well that pays off…seriously. I still love her. We are always moving forward, trying to figure it out. Do more. Be better. Just trying to figure it out.

So, I no longer wonder if I’m too old to do This Grad School Thing…now I wonder when I’ll figure out how to pay for it and just jump in. I’m ready to peel back this layer and find the new, fresh, pink.

**Hazel Soares Image Credit and Story

9 thoughts on “This Grad School Thing

  1. You know that old saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? I’ve never trusted it. Why, just recently, I finally got around to teaching our old-man dog Hooper the “down” command. And he’s pretty good at it when the right treat is involved. The only thing I would ever say that may discourage you from grad school is that, for me, it cost way more money than what it was worth. I’ve learned more from the grad school of life in a lab than my 2-year stint at OSU. Does it really matter to me? Not really because I’m doing what I want to do. That’s why Chris’s question is sooo important.


  2. fulfilled intellectually and creatively.
    supported financially.
    doing something that while I might not like it, that day, or certainly not every aspect of it, any day…I love it every day.

    to i trend toward the hyperbole? perhaps. but the life I want includes all of these needs being met. satisfaction in the job. creative fulfillment. stability. insurance/benefits. money to pay the bills. all of the bills. some way to budget and save money to take trips and explore the world, to study in places not in my zip code.

    am I happy without all of these needs being met? sometimes. someday.
    is this a guarantee that I will get “the life I want”? this path? this grad school thing?

    I have no fucking idea.
    I have an inkling of an idea.
    I have somewhere around in between that general vicinity.

    But as Kizz said to me this morning, “It’s not about the kind of risk I could deal with or your mom or anyone else, it’s about what kind of risk/reward you can deal with and you are the only person who has access to that information. I trust you to know and then I get on the fucking bus!”

    the bus hasn’t left yet.


  3. This is exciting. I love seeing people work through redesigning their lives. Very inspirational. We have a friend in Atlanta whose mother died recently, and he decided that life was too short to spend his time doing things he didn’t love doing, having fun with. Instead of doing one unsatisfying job, he moved to 2 part-time jobs: one in the same unsatisfying job 2 days a week (which was bearable), and the another basically working for minimum wage in a bicycle shop, learning about bikes (because he knows nothing about them, although he loves to ride them). Then, after he learns how to work on bikes, he’s going to open his own shop…with a twist that I can’t talk about.

    Follow your bliss.


  4. From one “too old for this” to another, I’m stoked for you! I love being back in class, save for one over-achieving young whippersnapper in my classes that makes the rest of us look bad. I chalk it up to inexperience…one day he’ll learn the value in doing “just enough” to make the grade. You rock.


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