I've been keeping a secret. It's kind of a scary secret. Well, scary for me. I'm taking a big jump, a risk. I'm making a bit of a sacrifice now, in the hopes that it pays off at some point in the future. It's only a secret because I've been too nervous to talk about it too much.
I'm going back to school.
I am enrolled to take a two year Masters of Information program with two specialties; Archives and Records Management and Library and Information Science. Essentially, I'm going to learn about how we preserve information on one hand, and how we access information on the other. Some of it will be awesome. Some of it will be dreadfully dull.
So, why? Over the past 4 years, I've developed a career in communications, working as a technical writer, marketing writer, and training content writer - yes, all at once. I take information and make it useful, readable, as interesting as possible. Some of the time, I'm good at it. Some of the time, I really think my communication skills could use a little development. While I'm on my maternity leave - a delightful year here in Canada - I'm going to do just that.
A Masters of Information (or MI for short) will do two things for me: improve my skills for the career I'm currently in, and give me a new direction, towards a new career, should I choose to pursue further change in a couple years. With the Library and Information Science specialty, I will be fully qualified for librarianship - public, private, institutional; they all sound like a dream job to me.
It's a scary move. Isabel will be just 2 months old when my first day of classes comes around. My schedule looks pretty good so far - just one full day of classes, and a couple more days with night classes. But the idea of leaving her in the care of someone else and leaving, even just for a day... it makes me a little nervous. And what about my course work? Will she nap enough so that I can get everything that I need to done? Will I ultimately fail as a student while being nothing but a mediocre mother for my daughter? And, what about my relationship to the Husband and our relationships as a family - the dogs and Isabel included? How much will they suffer with me spending so much time working my butt off for a degree that, in the end, might not move my career forward at all? And then, of course, there's finances. Oh, finances. It's bad enough that I'm not getting my full salary while on maternity leave. Adding tuition on top of that, with a second year of no income looming just 11 months away worries me to no end. I know we'll be fine if we're careful. Have I forgotten how to be careful in our years of double income and no kids? Or, will I need to return to work in a year and have yet another thing to juggle?
The Husband and I have been talking about this for a year. We carefully worked Isabel into the plan, knowing that, while I wanted to go back to school, we didn't want to put off having children. We've been examining all these questions and fears since last August. We're not letting them stop me.
I'm working really hard to not let these fears overwhelm me. Some days, I'm not successful.
But, some days, I am.