Burn It Down

On January 1st, I resolved to go big or go home this year. By that I meant, “Okay, I heard about Ryerson’s Professional Communication program, I think it can take me where I am trying to go and I’ve convinced myself to apply and see what happens.” I sort of thought of the act of applying as the complete process. I wanted to throw my name into the hat so I wouldn’t have any regrets about knowing this program existed and not doing anything about it. I hoped I would get in, even put out feelers about potential work arrangements, but I never believed that I would. Not really. And if I didn’t get in, well, at least I went big.

But on April 1st, something funny happened: I got an early offer.

Celine

Which was good, because somewhere along the way, I really, really started to want it. I considered the idea of not accepting the offer for a minute. It felt, and still feels, nuts to burn a life that is for all intents and purposes pretty decent, to the ground. But there are a lot of reasons to go for it, too. In the end, I concluded that it did not make any sense not to take what I asked for. So I’m doing it.

Thank you to Leeanne, Bryony, Joolie and AJP for reviewing the first “final” draft of my application (and extra xos to Joolie who patiently tweaked the real final sentences with me via Google Hangouts); John and AJP for, without hesitation, agreeing to be my Admissions references; Native Women’s Resource Centre, Annex Cat Rescue and Marina for the work that resulted in a “next level” application; Queen’s University, for giving me the opportunity to prove to you, to myself, and ultimately to Ryerson, that I belong in university; and to the firm whose incredible support has made this possible.

Also to Joolie and Eric for those early conversations in DC that inspired me to reach, NYC Jeff for telling me about ProCom to begin with, for challenging me to become what I should be, and for the tech; SVP for shifting my perspective on the relative riskiness of this venture; Alex G for telling me how many 40+ year olds are enrolled in full-time education (statistically speaking there are a lot even if they are very, very difficult to spot, on my campus anyway); Alex S for diagnosing my phobia of higher education (it’s easier to treat an illness once you have a proper diagnosis, right?); The Egyptian for, years ago, encouraging me to get serious about writing; Prem, if you ever read this, you know what role you played in all of this and I wish you were around to talk about it with.

And to my outstanding friends, especially to those of you who take on more than your fair share of my crazy (I think you know who you are) and to anyone who has ever read this blog, it has always been and continues to be a mystery why you read the story of my life.

Finally, and obviously, to my parents. Thanks for thinking I’m alright no matter what I do or don’t do.

Forgive the sentimentality blog readers, who knows if I will ever write a legit acknowledgements page, and this seemed like an appropriate time to acknowledge some VIPs.

The first couple of weeks have been a pretty ragged adjustment, involving a lot of tears and anxiety, a trip to the doctor and feeling totally freakish in the company of my young classmates. I owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who checked in on me, ensured I talked to my doctor, gave me fun plans on Friday nights, and told me you were proud of me. I have never felt so loved and supported and I needed ALL of those vibes. This week, I am turning my attention to harnessing my inner Celine Dion and owning this decision and this experience (that’s right, bitch).

Theresa, I promise I will write about it.

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