The one thing I think I remembered from my first business school class was being instructed not to seek to find a solution, just present a scenario. I believe the ideology behind this was similar to what we called in my dance choreography courses, the creative process.
Process. I love this word. Steps being made, tracks being laid out, constant forward motion, and an endless road stretching into the horizon (sort of like those perspective drawings they make you practice in beginning drawing classes, where the end of the road becomes a little dot) come to my mind. I've always believed that most of the learning you gain from an experience, a project, collaboration, or any life landmark comes from the process of getting there, not necessarily in the end result. It is very common that we forget this in our deadline-driven, data-overloaded, Monday to Friday world. Always relish and be present for the process.
So, with this in mind, I'm not hurriedly applying to new programs or new jobs. I want to know exactly what it takes to make a person say, "fuck it, I can do better by myself." As one of my mentors (and business superwoman told me), sometimes you learn more by just doing than sitting in a classroom. What better way to be inspired, connect, and directly gain wisdom about what saying "fuck it" cost and what it gained?
I'm going to go directly to the sources: entrepeneurs, grassroots organizations, co-ops, and local small businesses. I'm going to talk with some of the key players or even the founders, and ask them why they said "fuck it" and how they feel about it now. And hopefully, I'll get a sense of how it is that they're making their new choice work.
Choice. That's another great word.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
|I'm so sorry, Student ID. I barely used thee.|
Yes, I did it. I got excited. I planned my route to graduate school for 3 years. I scrounged up funds, I nervously wrote and rewrote draft after draft of my resume and application essay, I gathered references and ancient transcripts, I prayed, I was accepted, I cried.
Fast forward a few months. I bought books. I bought textbooks. I bought notebooks, or my main man did when I was too exhausted and stressed to bring myself to acquire them myself. I fretted. I twisted my stomach into knots. I put a halt on my life after August 25th. I attempted to rearrange my priorities to welcome this new, screaming baby we call business school into my life.
This was supposedly one of those "work while you educate yourself silly" programs. I will not reveal its name nor the school that is hosting it, just out of respect for the institution. Yes, even I am surprised that I still have a shred of respect for this institution. I reasoned that I could cut down my work hours a bit to accommodate the course work load, and that the brilliant thing about this program was that I only had to come to campus for actual classes one weekend a month! Okay, that's Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but okay! I'll be so inspired and excited and I'll love this work so much, it won't feel like work, I told myself.
Fast fast forward to the actual start of the semester. Oh. My. No. That's right: no. My body screamed no, my heart screamed no, and my gut screamed no.
Four days into the first week of classes, my body threw in the towel for me. It no longer wanted to play the "let's pretend we can do this" game. Five days later I was hunched over my 2-year old MacBook in bed with a fever and an epically runny nose. My fingers were frozen on the keypad as I wondered if I was truly strong enough. Was I not strong enough to go through this ordeal and get a degree? Was I strong enough to say no? Have I grown soft when it comes to change, or is this really not right for me?
Or am I just fucking fine, as is? Yes.
I navigated to the "Withdrawal from course/(Name of Liberal Arts) School" tab from the program's website. Done. Tuition reimbursement in the mail, explanations owed to friends and family, thoughts for the new plan in the works.
I can honestly say now that I've quit, something big, better, and to me, so much more exciting, is coming down the pike. In fact, my real education can finally begin.