A couple of months ago, I met with an admissions assistant at University of San Diego's Masters in Family Therapy program. He was a young guy -- in his early 30s perhaps. We chatted for just 30 minutes about the admissions requirement so that I can start thinking about how someone like me -- someone post career no. 1, someone midlife, someone with a family -- can start to incorporate a masters program into her life. We sat in a small conference room, he with a brochure, me with a purse and a single piece of paper with all of my questions. I asked all the questions off of my list, and he gave me the answers that he gives in his capacity. After the short meeting, I walked around the building, briefly peering into classrooms where lecturers stood in front of whiteboards and a few kids in hooded sweatshirts sat hunched over their computers. As I walked around, I found myself muttering, "Really? Am I going to leave my kids at home with some stranger so that I can come sit here? Really??"
Shortly after that visit, I pushed aside the idea of doing a MFT program. If I'm so ready to push it aside, maybe it's not the right path for me. Maybe I really wasn't that into it in the first place -- not that committed to the idea. Maybe...
For the past few months, we've had a babysitter for about 12 hours a week so that I can figure these things out. I haven't been doing anything with that time other than blogging and entertaining the idea of doing something with my writing. I love writing. It grips me at my core -- deep inside where it really matters. Like any other craft, I need to keep at it -- practice it, immerse in it -- knead it like dough. Despite my shortcomings, I find it fulfilling in a way few other things are. But how do you make a living with it, make it a career? I know others do -- so why do I doubt that I can? I feel like such a coward at times. I've never taken a risk in my life. Not really. And I wonder what I even have to say that's worth saying -- really, is anything I have to say any different than what anyone else feels or says? And how could I ever write as beautifully as some of those writers out there? What about all those people with PhDs in literature, those who've read everything worth reading? I haven't read a book in ages -- I feel like such a phony.
Last night, I read some interviews with Kazuo Ishiguro. For the past year, I've been obsessed with his book Never Let Me Go, and I can't stop thinking about it. So I was just poking around on the net after putting my son down for the night, and what a pleasant surprise that he wasn't schooled in literature. He wanted to be a musician and went onto writing only when he couldn't make a success of a music career. He then went onto a MFA program. In one of the interviews, he identified the few writers who formed the foundation of his writing. I copied down that list.
I'm still floundering, but it's clear that I need some more structure. I've been all over the map lately. I sometimes think I should get the MFT because I can use that knowledge as a basis for writing anyway, even if I decide not to become a therapist. Other days, I'm convinced that I need to become a journalist, and build my foundation for writing that way. I've also considered just blogging -- using this as my basis for writing and launching my writing career that way. Since my time is so limited these days anyway, isn't that a good use of my time?
I've even been going back and forth about signing up for an online class. One class. Which takes up just a couple of hours a week. Just because it's right around dinner time, and I'm not sure whether I should delay the kids' dinner time so that I could sit in front of the computer.
What is wrong with me??!!
Ugh, ok, as I'm writing this, it's becoming obvious that I just need to sign up for a class. Stop feeling so guilty. I'm allowed to do this, right? What's the harm? I can spend a few hundres bucks on a class. I can. Really. Right??