Back to school– but not as planned?

I mentioned on my previous blog that I was going back to grad school.

I started the application process, talked to some people about recommendation letters, told my employer about my plans…

and then I didn’t do it.

I haven’t totally ruled it out. But something stops me when I think of spending that much of my precious time and money on something that I’m frankly not that interested in. Sure, it would help my career. Apparently, however, I’m not dissatisfied enough with my current career situation. I like my job, I make a decent salary. Yes, it could be better, but is it worth sitting through 2-3 years of dull courses* and a big chunk of money up front? I’m not sure.

*Trust me, they are dull. I’ve heard plenty about them.
 

I haven’t completely ruled it out. There are benefits to improving my credentials; and I really do like the idea of being in school again. I just don’t think I’m as excited as I should be.

Perhaps graduate school isn’t exactly what I need right now. But there is one thing I am sure of: I am itching to learn some new things. Or should I say, I’m itching to be taught. I’m self-taught in so many things, but currently, I feel the need to learn from others, in a more structured environment.

….

Last week I attended a school reunion with some former classmates. It wasn’t a class reunion per se, but more like a gathering of old friends.

One of these friends was an old music-friend, one of the very few serious musicians I knew in high school. We bonded over that, back then; and when I saw him again last week, I was reminded of how much I’d enjoyed my time as a musician. Ever since, I’ve been inspired to immerse myself once again in music. But rather than just sitting at the piano and picking out pieces to learn on my own, I think I might want to take some lessons from a professional instructor.

The other thing I’ve been missing (as mentioned in a previous post) is my sewing hobby. I’m so ready to start sewing again. And again, I feel the need not to just sit down and sew, but to expand my knowledge of the craft.

I’m thinking I might want to start with some online sewing courses, and eventually, maybe, work my way up to an in-person couture sewing retreat.

….

One of the things that made me hesitate about graduate school was the worry that I might not have time for creative endeavors. These things have already been on the back-burner for years, due to family obligations (and my own inability to set aside time for myself). The thought of putting them off for another few years– well, it’s just painful.

As much as I do enjoy my career, it’s not what matters most to me. It’s a source of income which happens to be interesting and fulfilling. But it doesn’t inspire me like my other creative endeavors.

When I considered that, I started to think that maybe I should invest more time in the things I enjoy the most, and see where that takes me.

So that’s where I am right now– pondering these things and considering my options.

….

P.S. About that reunion: It was a really good experience in that it made me aware of how much I’ve changed (for the better, in my humble opinion). I felt confident, open, and friendly. I realized how much I’ve shaken off a lot of the negativity and guardedness that I carried around throughout my younger years.

All the incremental changes I’ve made over the years are having a positive result. It makes me feel hopeful about the efforts I’m putting into self-care and a positive mindset. Sometimes you don’t see results right away, but the changes are happening.

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4 responses to “Back to school– but not as planned?

  1. If I were working I wouldn’t be going back to grad school. I’m doing it because the program I’m in has a good track record placing its graduates as writing teachers at the local community colleges and also a few of the four-year universities. The program offers teaching experience — really valuable in terms of competing for teaching positions. If you don’t need school to continue in your career in a satisfying way I wouldn’t give up your creative pursuits for school. Better to put that time into music and sewing, as you say. That’s my vote anyway :).

  2. Thanks, Susan. 🙂 I appreciate your vote!
    Yes, there are things I would definitely look forward to in grad school– but not as much as I look forward to developing my artsy-crafty skills. Life is short and it’s a matter of setting priorities, even though my priorities aren’t very ”profitable”.

  3. I went to music school to be a piano virtuoso – lasted just few very tough regime years and now working in completely different field (design) i keep thinking about professional singing …

  4. Hi!
    Piano was not my main instrument but having gone through music school, I am familiar with the level of pressure you must have been under. It seems piano is one of the most competitive areas in the music world. (I was a clarinet major.)

    Once I left music school, I never considered trying to do music professionally. Though I did take a couple of years of singing lessons and I loved it. Yeah, once a musician, it’s hard to stop thinking about doing something musical, professional or not. 🙂