I am 40. I have just assassinated my “glittering” career in the media – the last 5 years in NYC running a music company and 10 years in London before that. I was the boss, the person people came to with their problems, the person that people expected to have the answers. I was well paid, a nice expense account and I even an assistant. But I was bored, so now I find myself in week three of an MSc in Organisational Behaviour at LSE.
To be clear, this is not a midlife crisis.
I wish I had thought about it though – well seriously thought about it. I am expected to read things and then remember it – who knew! I have spent the last 15 years giving insightful, action-orientated remarks that consider the whole business – but really they were only ever my gut reaction as I flew (by the seat of my pants) through my career. My brain now hurts as it yawns itself out of hibernation, before being slapped around by a 20-something classmate who has never experienced a mental hiatus.
The professors are my age too – which is just plain wrong. I occupy a strange hinterland reminiscent of those boy-swaps-body-with-his-dad kind of movie. I chat to my professor about school choices for our kids, and then have to put my hand up in class to get her attention. Not long ago people used to vie for my attention.
I ask myself, did I really sign up for this?
I have to say that, yes I did. And, well it is all rather wonderful! I figured that this would be my year off, a year for introspection and escape. At the moment I am bombarded with information, ideas, demands and deadlines that are once again stretching my limits. There is no time for looking inwards, but what I am realizing is that would be a mistake. Why close your eyes when you can look around you and see new things. I feel engaged, captivated… and tired.
My brain is like exploding candy, it is bubbling with excitement. I am eagerly anticipating the year ahead.