I just decided recently (as in the beginning of this week) to go back to law school. I finished my second year of the four year program ten years ago. Now, ten years later, I've finally come around to realizing that I need to finish. And yes, it took all of ten years for me to figure this out.
I've spent ten years thinking I might not ever go back, ten years thinking that I didn't need to finish, and ten years hoping that I would forget that I never finished.
For ten years I told myself that if I finished my degree now, I wouldn't use it once I graduated anyway. I told myself that my life was so fulfilling I couldn't possibly add on another dream. I told myself that finishing would be too hard since I would now have to juggle motherhood and homeschooling with it all. I told myself that spending the time and money to finish would just be selfish.
But something clicked last weekend. On a long drive last week, I had a lot of time to think. I looked at the billboards, the street signs, the scenery, and I looked into the eyes of my children. Many of the billboards I passed advertised college, health care, financial freedom, and family peace. Those billboards made me think about life. What did I want? Did I need any of those things advertised? In that minute, I didn't feel like a grown woman who is a mother. I felt like a young adult eager to equip myself with knowledge so that I can make a difference in this world and have my voice heard. I realized that education was something I needed to revisit. Maybe I really do want more out of my life. Maybe I can give more. Maybe I'm not too old.
Maybe I won't actually become a lawyer when I finish. Maybe I won't even take the bar exam. Maybe all I need is a greater understanding of something I'm interested in so I have a platform on which to write about issues I feel strongly about in that field. Or maybe the analytical skills I will hone will enable me to do freelance work from home, editing or writing for people. Or maybe I'll go back to paralegal work.
My kids need to understand how important is to finish what you start. They need to see that their Mom isn't even too old to learn and to study. That learning never stops. It's a never-ending process.
When I had first started law school, working as a legal assistant for a non-profit advocacy group, I had an idea to start a magazine once I graduated. A magazine for women to keep abreast of social and civil rights' issues. Literature that would focus on clarifying to women what their rights were and what rights they should fight for. I wanted to learn graphic design so that I could design the pages as well. I wanted to call it "Justice Seeker".
These days there isn't much in print anymore. We put it all online. I've spent 7 years blogging about wardrobes, shopping, and style. I'm learning how to control a website and learning how to keep new content up. Perhaps a Justice Seeker magazine isn't what I should do, but perhaps it should be a Justice Seeker blog. The possibilities are endless, and I believe going back to school will get my brain back in gear to either start an endeavor like blogging about deeper controversial issues, or just open up opportunities I'm not even aware about yet.
Classes don't start until January, so I have a full six months to gear up for this next adventure.
Here's to finishing the race.