Most of you know that I'm in a graduate degree program for an MFA in creative writing. Initially I was going to do the UCLA certificate program but then decided to go for the gusto and actually get a paper degree to hang on my wall.
So, here I am. This is the first "semester" of a total of seven and I got into this major argument on the phone the other day with the administrator of the program.
Let's just say that there are 2 things that occurred:
1) I don't put up with any "professional" who, well...isn't professional -- especially when it comes to writing. (Any "writer" that can't use spell check with today's high-tech one-touch-button software or is grammatically incorrect yet is a professor at a major university will beouted by me in 3 seconds flat. And no, in case you haven't figured it out, I'm not an ass-kisser, brown-noser like all the other students are.)
2) I don't need this degree for anything. In fact, right now it's turning into a joke as far as why I'm even in this program to begin with. I wanted to challenge myself but not by rocking the boat or bucking the system due to obvious inadequacies with their program. If I wanted a fight, I'd pick up the phone and argue with the IRS about how dodgy their rules and regulations are but...I'll skip that fight for now. You have to pick your battles wisely, you know.
I think part of the problem here is that I've been in "left-brain-mode" for so long that I can't click over the the right brain where I creativity lies. Or used to lie. I've been so real estate geared lately that I forgot what the definition of fiction is anymore.
So, the administrator of the program gets me on the phone the other night and immediately says, "You'll either respect the professors in this program or I'll kick you out of the program."
Not even a fraction of a second passed by before I replied, "Go ahead and kick me out."
I could hear how stunned he was by the response due the lack of his immediate response while as dead air dominated the other end of the phone for seemingly forever.
I love calling people's bluff because what these "creative types" especially don't understand is that I've been in the business world long enough that (1) I can read people like a book, (2) I won't be threatened under any circumstance, and (3) I simply don't give a shit about much of anything these days anymore.
Put someone -- anyone -- who is in a position of having nothing to lose while, at the same time, they just don't give a damn and see what type of result you'll get...especially when you call them on the phone to start yelling at them.
Furthermore, yelling at anyone on the phone usually gets you exactly nowhere. Neither do threats. Again, this is something that someone who isn't part of the business world would never understand.
And what gives me this arrogant attitude that I have?
I'm not sure it's arrogant. Okay, maybe it's "part" arrogance due to the fact that I don't need a shitty piece of paper to hang on my wall (that I'll have to pay a total of $45,000 for by the time everything is said and done) to make a million dollars a year, which is about what I make now. I make more a year than all those professors in this graduate program combined.
The other "part" comes from having an incredibly short fuse for dealing with bullshit due to the nature of my business and what I've been through in my life to this point. Apparently this university administrator is used to people quivering in their boots at the notion of being thrown out of school. Meanwhile I'm daring him to throw me out so I can save myself at least 40 grand that I would otherwise have to shell out to complete this program.
So, right now I'm sitting on the fence as far as the program goes. By the end of the conversation, it was completely different than how it started. It went from him wanting to throw me out to him trying to convince me to stay in. (I love turning the tables on people and making them think it was their idea all along.)
I need the program just to keep me more balanced. (Remember the left-brain right-brain thing I was just talking about?) Doing something creative keeps me balanced and energized so I don't completely derail or go all gangsta on somebody, possibly committing a completely avoidable homicide. (Yes, I get that pissed off sometimes. Dangerous, I know, especially when I'm behind the wheel.) The creativity helps me balance all this anger out.
As it stands now, I didn't get kicked out of school as much as I begged him to throw me out of the graduate program. What I absolutely love is having that sense of power whereas I don't need school or a shitty degree or any university administrator controlling my destiny.
Because I control my own destiny. I always have.
And so do you.
I write my own checks in life. I make as much money as I want. And everything I do outside of my businesses is just an "elective," if you will.
The other day I was watching some crap on TV and somebody was doing an interview of this couple who lost their home, cars, and everything else because the guy lost his "secure" job and couldn't find employment elsewhere. I found myself talking to the TV saying..."There's nothing more insecure than allowing somebody else to control YOUR destiny and YOUR life. Who ever told you that working for somebody else was secure, sucker? Maybe it's time you took the bull by the horns and started writing out your OWN paychecks. Start your own business, fool. Do something for yourself instead of whining on TV like a little girl."
There were some other choice words used but...I have to start hitting the "censor" button a little more these days, as my swear jar doesn't have any more room in it.
So, maybe I'm rough around the edges, not "polished," and a little too real. But I can show you how to write that check for yourself for whatever amount you want to make. Guaranteed.
And then nobody will ever be able to run over you again because the world -- YOUR world -- will remain firmly at the palm of your hand at ALL times.
See you at the top!