Back to School at 42!

September 6, 2013 § 2 Comments


I never considered myself to be someone who loved school. I did love learning new things, especially anything involving the arts.* But I never got into the whole ritual of school, except to make sure that I got good grades and was decently popular. I am human and a touch competitive, after all.

When I finished grad school at the tender age of 28, I thought that I was done with the classroom forever.** And I was thrilled. No more schedules, no more textbooks. No tests! And best of all NO MORE PROJECTS!!! I was going to be a Working Woman of Leisure.

All that aside, I still found myself wanting to learn new things. Is there some kind of gene for that? If so, I appear to have it. So, there were tons of books to read on all kinds of topics, museums to visit and professionals to interrogate about their craft. (Thank heavens people who love plants and flowers tend to be pretty mellow — I would kill me if I were a client.)

There were even a few “classes” here and there — lectures at The Met, knife skills and intensive cooking programs, cheese class, wine class, you get the idea. But I never signed up for anything that required any real “work” on my part. (Unless you consider drinking wine and eating cheese to be work. I do not. And if you do, I might need to ask why you are reading my blog.)

And then I got all crazy about interior design. I always loved making my bedroom, Barbie Dream House, dorm room and Single Girl Apartments as comfy and pretty as possible (even then, this often included fresh flowers and a dog), but Mr. H was a bit of a Furniture Head when we met. And that was kind of the end of my casual interest…within a few years, I was hooked.

I now have Furniture Crushes, Imaginary Homes decorated in styles I can’t quite pull off in my current surroundings (my L.A. Apartment is a blast of white and oversized art, the one in Paris, spare and sculptural), and find myself “helping” friends — whether they like it or not — with their own spaces.

A few weeks after our Big, Hairy Project that Took Years to Complete was done at work, I started thinking that maybe now would be a good time to admit it to myself: I think I want to go back to school to study interior design more seriously. At this age??? Seems like a lot of effort for someone with a pretty demanding job. But still. And more still, Julia Child didn’t start her career until she was 40. And I think even Chrolotte Moss worked on Wall Street for some time before she got cracking. So, yes, I am going to give it a shot.

But before I jump right back in to the whole affair, I decided to dip my toes in with a six-week course on the basics. I report to school on Monday, and I already have homework!!

But I am also already loving it — it just must be in my genes.


* How I must have driven my family crazy when in High School during the Humanities lectures that introduced me to Handel’s Water Music. Seriously, I find the incessant harpsichord completely mind-numbing now.

** OK, I did toy with the idea of going back to get an MFA in art history, but the language requirements — German AND French — made me balk.

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

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