Keeping Up with the Jonzee still at the right spot.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Just Don't

From the age of 5 to 19, I wanted to be an Emergency Pediatric Surgeon.

Then, I failed physics. An F. First and last time.

From 19-21, I wanted to be a City Planner. (Before you say, "how the hell" it was not that big of a stretch since I was a pre-med concentration with a major in Urban studies and development. )

Then, I had three internships with three different communities and realized planners come up with great ideas which make lots of sense, but they are pretty much dismissed until the shit hits the fan.

From 21-25, I took my love for planning and decided to move toward Community Development--specifically housing. This led me down the inevitable non-profit development path. As such, I got to work for some of the "Best Practice" Non-profits in DC and NYC.

Then, I realized they were a mess. In a nutshell, they couldn't manage money, their balance sheets were upside down, they were constantly in crisis mode, and they never had very many significantly sized projects in the pipeline. (ex. average CDC 22 years of existence--550 units of housing. Say whuh?)


At age 25, I finally hit my "Eureka!" moment. I realized that Grandfather's love of history and city life started me down the path from the time I was 14. While during these teen years I was still determined to be a doctor, a major in urban studies became inevitable. I was destined to pursue it, but not working in a non-profit.

But I continued to believe that the mission of CDC's was an important one, the "crisis" mentality--mostly the crisis that they ain't got no money but lots assets, was wholly uneccessary. It became apparent that they needed to function more efficiently like many successful businesses do, and more effectively manage existing assets.

As such, Community development finance and management is what I chose.

I can run a non-profit program with my eyes closed (while swearing to quit) but I have had limited exposure to finance. Being the partly bourgoise girl that I am I thought I had to go top 25 MBA with a dual degree JD (JD because these non-profits always get tangled in some legal mess and need real estate lawyers) so I could be a force to be reckoned with.

Then, I could not get past the quantitative part of the GMAT. I was okay in practice and a disaster during the real test. Three times and $675 later and wasn't about to take it again even thought I was 10 points from the magic score. I just didn't have another $225 to take it.

I applied anyway. 1st time didn't get in anywhere. (well, wait listed but they might as well just say no) The second time I got in to a school...

And I said no.

I wasn't supposed to be a doctor, nor a city planner, nor an MBA. I was meant to be hands on in improving the Urban core. I was meant to go to a little program with a big impact in community development. Not enough money for MBA and almost a full ride for a Masters at niche school made the decision even simpler. Everything I have pursued has lead me right back to Community Development.

Yet, law school remains on the table. And I am not sure its necessary any more. Some developers say "hell yeah" while others are like its not going to be useful (the "hell yeah's" are quite effective developers, the others are 50/50)

I mean, I got to Cleveland with a study plan. That plan was supposed to go into effect August 1. Here it is the 9th and I have not cracked that book. Yet, something keeps telling me to go on 'head and do it.

I am probably just being lazy. Or reverting to my old ways of second guessing "the Voice". I am probably just focused on the near term golden handcuffs, even though I know where that has gotten me before.

Biggest fear? How the hell do I pay for it?

But, perhaps that question would be easily answered if I was Claire and had a Heathcliffe. Or perhaps, I should just leave it to my man, "The Voice"...a.k.a God.

Stay tuned.


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