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
One thought on “ezmy goes back to school”
Sometimes, you need just one person who is completely, unassailably convinced that you are smart and capable to let you see that you really are able to succeed. So glad that your client gave you a little push, and that you found your A.