About a week ago, I received my acceptance letter for the University of Ottawa. That’s right, Ezmy is going back to school. Law school. The combined JD/USA program to be exact, a program that will see me studying in Ottawa for two years, then moving to Washington, DC for the last two years. Gah!
I am excited about this development for several reasons, the most obvious of which being that I get to switch gears. After six years of being at home with kids, and loving a lot about it, I am in need of a change. I need a new occupation, or rather an expanded one. So woot! This career shift also gives me something to look forward to post-Israel, which is a good thing because I will need the distraction. I’m desperately sad to be leaving my friends here, and am having a hard time imagining my days without some of them. School will help.
But on a more personal note, I am excited about this next step because I’ve wanted this for so long. I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since I was 14 years old. For the next 20 some odd years, I would be continually discouraged from taking this path. I was told over and over again that I would make a great waitress/secretary/assistant/customer service representative, but that a legal career was more than I needed to shoot for. Why couldn’t I just settle for the assistant manager position at Starbucks? Why couldn’t I settle for the administrative position at Microsoft? Didn’t I know how much money and time I would waste going back to school? Why risk all of that when you have a perfectly good, entry-level forever job right in front of you?
And things got worse than this. A few particularly horrible, yet incredibly influential people told me that I just wasn’t smart enough. That I would never get in anyway. And I believed them, for awhile. It is shocking what low self-esteem can do to a person. So instead of staying focused on my goal, I did settle. I settled into bad jobs and bad relationships, and I made a bunch of bad choices. And the worse things got, the more it just confirmed what others were saying. They were right – I could barely manage my sad little life as it was, so how on Earth was I going to manage law school?
Somewhere in the midst of this nonsense, however, one person stands out. A client I had when I was studying hair dressing at an incredibly pathetic beauty school in a shopping mall in Toronto. He was about 40, and he asked me a bunch of questions, based in part on the book I was reading (Silent Spring by Rachel Carson). He said I sounded smart. He asked me what I really wanted to do, and I said I wanted to be an environmental lawyer. And then he said these magic words: “So do it! Go to school, get a political science degree, and then go be a lawyer. You can do this.”
I dropped out of beauty school (cue the song!) almost immediately after my conversation with this fellow. The owners of the school laughed out loud when I said I wanted to be a lawyer. I applied to Acadia University and completed my undergrad. I went to grad school. I continued to face obstacles – toxic relationships, incredible self-doubt – but I kept going anyway. I gained confidence and met other people who informed me that I actually was capable, that my goals were entirely realistic. Most importantly, I met A. and he seemed convinced I could do anything. And that was all I needed, apparently – someone in my life to say “you can do this” whenever I thought that I couldn’t. And so here we are.
I’m not sure why the words of one client at a beauty school mattered so much, but they did. He was just so enthusiastic, so sure of my ability to do whatever I wanted. Maybe he was just an enthusiastic person, and probably he was like that with everyone. Definitely he doesn’t remember who the hell I am. But he changed everything, and I am grateful for him.
Anyway, woot! I am nervous and excited. I’m nervousited, as Budsie would say. :P