Going Back to School…

A lot is changing in my life, and it feels like it is happening very quickly. I didn’t expect it, as usual, and now I am left reeling with both excitement and fear. It all started with an innocent post on Twitter. It was one of my million-a-day inane posts that most people don’t read, and I don’t blame them. I don’t care if anyone responds, it is my space. My relaxation space. But I digress.

I posted on Twitter that my laptop was dying, as it had started getting flickering lines across the screen and taken to randomly rebooting. Plus, it was still running Windows Vista, which Firefox (and everything else) was dropping. It was a wonderful, albeit slow and cantankerous, little laptop for me for a few years. It was gifted to me from a friend who was getting a new one, so sweet! I didn’t want to let it go, so I had mostly been ignoring the flickering lines and random rebooting, but it was getting pretty bad.

I had zero expectations when I posted, I was just venting. Out of nowhere, a Twitter friend (that I didn’t even know all that well!) offered to buy me a new laptop on the spot. For good karma, he told me. I figured he was kidding, but we chit chatted about it and I gave him my address after some deliberation and a promise that he wouldn’t show up on my doorstep.

He didn’t, but about a week and a half later, a new laptop did. The box was addressed to my Twitter name, which made me chuckle. So now I have a new laptop. Most people I’ve told this story have thought it was quite odd, and I think may worry for my safety. I believe completely that he just wanted to do something nice and saw something he could do, and did it. These random acts of kindness make the world a better place.

I had been daydreaming about going back to college for a bit, but I kept waffling on what precisely I wanted to do, and I refused to go back without a plan. Plus, there’s no way my old laptop would have gotten me through online classes and writing papers and things. But now, now I was to have a new one. Now I *could* go back to school and keep up. It also happens that I follow a few librarians here and there. So I started asking questions, and thinking about things. I’m still not 100% positive, but I  am pretty sure that I’d at least like to TRY working in a library and seeing what is involved.

It just so happens that Palomar College, which is right by where I live, is one of only 8 schools in California that offers an Associate degree in Library Science. What?! They also seem to have a good English department, which is what I initially thought my AA would be. Now I’m not sure. Perhaps I could fulfill the requirements for the library certificate and still get an AA in English, and transfer to CSUSM for a BA in English. If the whole library thing is still appealing, I could get an online Master’s degree in Library Science.

These are the types of daydreams I have been having for weeks. I know myself, and once something gets its hooks in my brain, I have to research it until I’ve exhausted all the options.

But first things first. The other night I finally did it, I stayed up late and applied for college, filled out my FAFSA, and ordered my transcripts to be sent to Palomar. Now I just need to be officially accepted, see a counselor there, and register for a summer class. I believe I will take just one class over the summer to get started. We will see.

I have been writing very little and playing guitar a lot. My guitar class I took through Mira Costa only meets twice more, then my Thursday nights will be my own again for a bit. I will miss the class. My teacher’s intermediate class is already full, which is probably for the best since it seems I will be busy studying this summer.

Things that are very small seem very scary. Setting up an appointment with a counselor. Deciding which math class to take (I placed higher in math than I expected, so I have some options..) I don’t think I will try to tackle math first, though. It gives me huge anxiety and I know I will need a tutor and a lot of time to focus on it. Ugh.

But, I feel hopeful and excited in a way I haven’t felt in a few years. I still enjoy doing massage, but there is always this black cloud looming and it says, “WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU INJURE YOURSELF? DO YOU STILL WANT TO BE DOING THIS IN YOUR 60s? How will you retire?” This voice I usually can ignore, but it has gotten louder over time. The answer is, I really don’t want to still be doing massage in 15 years. I love it, I will always do it a little, but I don’t want to rely on it solely anymore.

It has been so nice and peaceful, having such a low-stress job. Every shift is like a moving meditation. It has allowed me to clear my mind in ways I didn’t think was possible. But now I feel thirsty for something more, something new that I can wrap my brain around. And I want to hone my writing, have some feedback and peer review. I want to be educated. So I am going back to college.

Wish me luck.