I am 46 today.
I celebrated by meeting with the head of Career Services at Stanford Law School.
It had been a long, long time since I had been on the SLS campus. I have even avoided driving anywhere on the Stanford Campus other than the Medical Center. There is a great deal of “What if someone asks just what I’ve been doing the past fifteen years?” and “You mean you spent sixty thousand dollars, and took up valuable classroom space in a top five law school, to stay home and raise children?” that I worry about.
I have watched as classmates went on to do great things – running for mayor of San Francisco, becoming Executive Director of the ACLU. (And let me just say upfront that Matt and Tony are terrific people who deserve every bit of hard earned success they get.) Stanford alums tend to be high profile people.
So I put on business casual (I figured a suit would be too much) — except for the pantyhose — and my best no-nonsense-I’m-a-lawyer-don’t-mess-with-me-demeanor (usually reserved for dealing with unpleasant airline gate agents) and sallied forth. After I got there I was much more relaxed — I reminded myself that I had a right to be there, dammit, I have a piece of paper on my wall which proclaims that I went there and not only got a J.D. but graduated with distinction. Whatever I chose to do afterward, that was *not* chopped liver.
Susan Robinson, the Dean of Career Services, is a lovely woman, and she helped me identify a couple of areas of interest: namely, education disabilities (one of my sons is high-functioning autistic) and election and voter law (gee, I wonder why I might be interested in that?). She gave me information about how to indentify opportunities and look for volunteer opportunities in each field, so as to create networks (something I’ve never been very good at before, but I’m trying). She also talked with me a little bit about resume construction and gave me pointers about people working with homemakers returning to professional positions.
It feels like I am embarking on a large new adventure. I am by turns exhilarated and terrified. It definitely means stretching out of my comfort zone.
Really, a good way to spend a birthday, with a new undertaking.