An “existential suicide”.
A poor choice of words given the events that occurred only a few months later.
This was written in April of 2017. I forgot that this happened. I was laid off a couple of weeks earlier and overqualified and overeducated applicants FLOODED the unemployment lines. Work was difficult to come by. I was searching for another comfortable office job where I could pretend to work but people would think I was important. That door was shut. Too proud to take A REAL job, I flirted with the idea of returning to school.
Was it a good idea? No.
Was my heart in it? Absolutely not.
Should I have gone? ….
Just a month later, I was slinging boxes at a (metaphorical) sweatshop. “I served in the military and have a masters degree”, I reminded myself. And I laughed at my predicament, where only weeks earlier I thought I had it made (and had an interview at a law school). Instead, I was choosing to sweat my ass off in some dingy warehouse at the edge of town.
But it didn’t occur to me then that perhaps I SHOULD HAVE GONE TO LAW SCHOOL. Just three months later I was in a psyche ward and later rehab where I lived through one of the costliest natural disasters in US history. By that time, I was too fucked up to recall I even had an interview with a law school earlier. No, it didn’t occur to me that going to law school COULD have changed everything until I discovered this article earlier today.
So should I have gone? I don’t know.
Did I give a shit about law? Not really. I mean, I do over-analyze things and occasionally have a flair for the dramatics. So, in theory, I could have made an excellent (albeit unemployed) lawyer.
But that’s not necessarily why it might’ve been a good idea to go. When you’ve been in the rooms I’ve been in, and listen to the people I’ve met, you learn quickly: you will never have a better past.
What I didn’t mention in the article was that I did stress over this decision. After the interview, I came home and I did something that I don’t usually do: I prayed. To whom? It doesn’t matter. Somehow, I knew that there was something to this. But I threw away the packet and chose to do nothing.
I made the decision I made. I don’t know if I necessarily regret it. For better or worse, the decision to not go more or less led to my sobriety. I’ve got a good life now. Things are looking better.
Could a meltdown have been avoided? Could I have avoided jeopardizing EVERYTHING? Could I have even avoided a hurricane?
I made the decision I made.
Today, I almost did it. Not suicide, at least not in a physical sense. But I certainly came close to an existential death. (Is that the same thing?)
I almost called it quits. I got up early, dressed up, and drove over 100 miles to visit a respectable law school. And upon my arrival, I was given the royal treatment: greeted by an attractive assistant, met with distinguished faculty and staff, along with several member of the student body. And then they threw in a lecture by a greatly respected legal professional for good measure. Not only was I impressed with them, but their feelings were mutual. To my astonishment, I crossed every ‘T’ and dotted every ‘I’.
We could’ve had each other. I knew it, and they knew it.
And this sort of reception was a welcoming sight. Despite my somewhat respectable academic acumen, my professional career has stumbled. Too much job hopping and failing to find a footing in the arts. Sacrifices had to be made eventually, and the last place that would take my meandering self was the stuffy and pretentious world of academia.
I know that law schools are struggling. In addition to that, I have called out the rarified atmosphere of the academics in recent years. Yet everything came full circle, and as the naïve millennial that I am…I applied for law school. But being nearly 30 and unemployed, these kinds of decisions get made. The truth, however, is that I hated college during the first go-around. I even went as far as to warn people that it was a waste of time. Yet in my arrogance, I believe that I could have been the greatest legal mind ever. Fuck off, Oliver Wendell Holmes.
And they presented me with a wonderful package. Some of the best facilities I have ever seen…all for a very select few. Which was why I was so troubled by the library. I have no doubt that it contains some of the best knowledge regarding cases, statues, and other legalese shit that has ever happened on Earth…ever. Yet my guide seemed to be bored with this part of the tour.
“All of this information can be found in online databases.”
So all of the thousands of encyclopedias, books, articles…in addition to the multi-storied structure…was just for show.
Now I’ve always felt that the law itself was just for show. The veil over the nothingness behind it. It’s a necessary veil, don’t get me wrong. But this was where I began to be de-mystified by this enthralling place. What I once saw as ambitious, bright-minded young minds when I first walked into the building, now seemed like imprisonment. Students huddled in a corner, frantically studying for upcoming exams…all so that they can join the mass of unemployed lawyers. Individuals that study essentially nothing, just some man-made laws that are used to keep the people in line.
Then the library went cold. It became just a structure to let the students THINK they were doing something important. And then the school itself felt like a haunted mansion. Not a place where minds came to be cultivated, but to die. It was now an empty space, a monument to once was. Or just an authoritative body that held no real power…it was only there for show.
So all of this was just a charade…to help the school to feel as if it was accepting “the best and the brightest”. And for me…to fool myself into believing that this was the best path forward.
But who the fuck was I kidding?