One thing I thought I learned as I got older is not to revisit decisions I already made. If I ever calculated the time I spent rethinking past decisions, it would add up to more time than I spent doing the things I made decisions about.
But sometimes I can’t help it—-like last weekend. Possibly I was the only woman at the Yale conference without an advanced degree—(lots of women have several; and could easily spare an extra one for me.) There are no good reasons for this. I didn’t need one for any career I thought about—-and I never considered an academic career. Never would I have described myself as a scholar, and I hadn’t developed a real passion for any academic area.
There was one college course that lit me up—a seminar in my last semester. I devoured every word of every book; loved every minute of every discussion. The subject matter even dovetailed with my particular area of interest in my major—-(which my advisor told me was “lightweight” when I chose to write about “a woman’s topic” for my senior essay in History.)
It was the dawn of feminism and coeducation was barely a year old. That seminar—called “Women in a Male Society” —reflected so much about life at Yale and life in the real world I was about to enter. It was possibly the first course ever taught at Yale that would qualify as Women’s Studies-–an academic area that did not even exist. If only I had a crystal ball.
I wasn’t bold enough to think of creating my own major— and I didn’t even have any dim awareness that there would ever be such a thing. So graduation was my last official participation in the world of academia.
End of story…… end of the road—- until last weekend when I added this to the list of Careers- I- might- have-had.
I have no regrets—-in choosing the road less traveled— compared to my very accomplished classmates. I’ve been far from a campus but I feel very lucky that I soon discovered other exciting paths to pursue and other things I love to do. Plus of course it’s never too late……..