I have this memory of a 12-year-old-me, in torn blue-jeans and muddy riding boots. It was a stormy day, mid-December, the sky dark and heavy, and I don’t know why, what made me think this, but I remember with alarming clarity looking down at the dirt road, leading a horse back to his stable, and thinking, I can’t wait for school to be over so I can just hurry up and become a lawyer.
Where exactly this aspiration went, I couldn’t tell you. All I can tell you is this: when somebody asks me these days what I’m planning for September, which seems to be a suddenly-approaching deadline of indeterminate enormity, I panic, look around and flap my hands, mumble, er, um, well, panic some more, change the subject, and then spend the next few hours deeply engrossed in my own powerful anxiety. To be honest, just about the only thing I can probably tell you for sure is that in spite of all odds, in spite of what the 12-year-old me would have told you, the one thing I won’t be in September is a lawyer. They haven’t yet invented a word for a freelance (maybe)-writer-who-wants-to-do-a-PhD-but-can’t-afford-it-and-has-a-manuscript-but-no-money-and-just-wants-to-curl-up-until-success-strikes, you see.