Free To Be Whatever I Want–Even at 38

Dagan - Houston, Texas
Entered on March 7, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: change, setbacks

I believe that you are never too old that the words “you can be whatever you want” no longer apply. I believe that people DO change, even if it takes them 30 years to do so. Recently, I was fired from my job. Big deal, so you say. It happens. Well, it did happen, and it happened to me. Don’t feel too sorry for me though, I really hated it. I mean, hated in the in the most sincere, bottom of my heart, nasty auntie sort of way. I had to make the walk of shame that day, with my head held high, but with gladness in my heart…I was free! Free to be, well, free to be what? What did I want to do with my life? Even at 38 I still did not know. I started searching the classifieds, what next? Then an advertisement caught my eye, the police department was hiring. Ok, well, maybe not for a suburban mother of two at 38 with a questionable past. I wandered into the living room and turned on the television. The news was doing an in depth segment about what else, the police department recruiting for the upcoming cadet class. Is this a sign? I applied. Two days later my phone rang. Would I like to come in for an interview, the officer sounded almost incredulous on the other end. Why, exactly, he asked after reviewing my dubious qualifications (I previously worked for lawyers, did I mention that?) are you interested in a career in law enforcement? Why indeed. The more I thought it over the more excited I became. The chance to help others, the chance to participate in my community, the chance to drive “single” really fast in the HOV lane without consequences. (Traffic in Houston is no joke) Perfect! The following week I went to my interview and they humored me for a while…shaking me down about poor decisions reflected in my “permanent record” and of course, my family history (Shades of Fitch’s “white oleander” here) and finally on to the physical agility test…which I promptly failed. I guess three days of running around my subdivision just did not put me in cadet shape. Maybe being a suburban mom does not prepare you for hurtling walls and jumping ditches in hot pursuit of a suspect. I responded that I do chase after two young daughters regularly so that should qualify for something. As I was leaving the testing center my recruiting officer turned to me with a shake of the head and asked me if I was ready to go home now, and if I was satisfied, or if I would like to appeal the rejection. I looked at him in amazement, of course I will appeal! I am coming back in 30 days to try again, hopefully with faster, more agile 38 year old feet. After all, it is never to late to be anything you want to be.