It’s a sad truth of our generation or our time that it is so much harder to talk about the good than the bad. When life is miserable, your hope is gone, and cynicism rules, the jokes flow freely and people commiserate and it is patently easy. Conversely, when someone we know enjoys some success or joy, we roll our eyes at their Facebook statuses. And fair enough, those statuses sting when we aren’t there ourselves; but we need to be able and brave enough to speak sincerely and with vulnerability about what we work hard for and what makes us happy.
I started a long and confusing journey a little over a year ago. Deeply unfulfilled and with no plan, and largely without conscious thought or decision, I answered a New Year’s resolution conversation with the declaration that I was going back to school to get my MBA. I sort of surprised even myself by saying it, but saying it called it into life and made me accountable to that silly notion. I spent the early months of 2013 studying, and that spring I took the GMATs and prepared my application to the Rutgers part-time program. After getting my scores back and again surprising myself with my own capabilities, I tabled the plan as I knew it and postponed to apply first round the following year to bigger, tougher schools.
Last November I got invited to interview at NYU for the full-time MBA class of 2016. Last month I went and sat in a room full of fifty other young, talented, qualified women desirous of the same thing. Yet again I faked it till I made it, feigning confidence and eventually coming to believe that I truly did belong in that room with engineers and marketing execs and Goldman Sachs employees, this suburban retail manager with the art history degree. I tried to manage my expectations, but without cause: a week later I was accepted, and finally got to post my own seemingly-smug, genuinely elated Facebook status (to a tearjerking groundswell of support and encouragement.)
I’ve accepted my spot; I’m going. I have an official NYU email address, and am currently figuring out housing, fussing over loans, and re-learning calculus. There is terror, believe you me. There is a more than healthy dose of disbelief. There is also unadulterated optimism, hope, and excitement about a new chapter. College was like a four-year journey of growth and discovery, followed by four dark-mirror years of depression and apathy and inertia. It is scary to start over again. Definitely I’m nervous about going back to school, the simple act of mentally challenging myself after the day-to-day monotony of a job I know all too well. But the same things that scare us are generally the most worthwhile, and I truly can’t wait.
There’s a lot to figure out still, and plenty of hard work ahead. I’m ready for the challenge, and all the troubles and delights along the way. So far I’ve only been rewarded for each leap of faith, and I vow to keep pushing myself. Living La Vida Suburbia is about to go very, very urban.
…Coming Fall 2014.