Friday, September 10, 2010

Legal Eagle or No More (R)egret

I know. I know. We are not supposed to have regrets.

But I do. Two of 'em.

Harbored over the years since my twenties. Both related.

I can do nothing about one of them. Nada. But my son did it for me. So I can live vicariously.

The other? That is another story.

I am about to turn that one on its head. Kablooey. Out of here. Erase that one for all of eternity.

Well kind of.

I have been contemplating the second regret every few years for most of my adult life. Whether employed as a banker, a venture capitalist or entrepreneur ... or not.

Deal doing and contracts are my forte. From the deal side. The business side. I have often imagined how proficient I might have become at negotiating had I accomplished this one thing that I had set out to do in the mid 1970s.

But with rampant inflation (remember President Fords WIN?), high unemployment (double digits ... sound familiar) ... high energy costs strangling the market (compliments of the 1974-OPEC oil embargo) taking the entire Northeast and much of the country into one of the deepest recessions since the Stock Market Crash in '20. Depression economics redux.

I changed direction in media res. Right as I was ready to matriculate with hordes of other recent college graduate Baby Boomers in Bean Town.

Charted a new direction for my undefined career path. Just like that. Blammo!

What, you are wondering (if you are still with me here), is this Steel Magnolia referring to?

I promise you it is not earth shattering. Not in the least. But it did alter the direction of my theretofore strategic dreams. The natural follow-up to a career as a legislator of the highest order leveraging my American Government/Economics degree.

But I couldn't get my arms around it. Nor my head.

The country had been brought to its knees by an unpopular war (sound familiar) birthing the horrid, polarizing derision of public opinion that has entrapped our media, our voices and our citizens today.

There was a glut of students grabbing at anything post graduate to make a living. Young associates were taking showers (I imagine they still do) at work in the glass and steel skyscrapers dotting the horizon on our country's major metropolises.
The practice was so far off that my imagination and creativity and ability to see the forest for the trees might be radically impaired beyond recognition. And that, dear reader, was the deal point. Would have been my Waterloo, so to speak

So I switched gears. At the last moment. Whew!

Okay. Okay. What is this regret that has haunted me for the past thirty-five years?

I cancelled my matriculation at law school. Right before the final drop dead date. At the time, double programs granting professional degrees in both the law and business (the JD/MBA combo ... killer I might add, if you pleased) were not readily offered.

Yes. I have regretted that decision ever since.

In six weeks I matriculate at the same Boston institution of higher learning where I withdrew my place in 1976. Online. A paralegal course leading to certification. Add another arrow to my quiver. And just possibly, a jump-start and new direction to my capabilities and ability to attract new business.

Cheers to my agility and the timeliness of this 'do over' ... and imagining the possibilities.

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