Beware - long post, need help, encouragement, advice. Please, please. Interested in establishing some solid resources on the board who are nontraditional students in terms of life circumstances, career, age, etc. whatever. I am in my early 30s and an attorney at a large, national law firm (working in their Colorado office ), graduated law school at 26 after a year in in university administration. Currently, specialize in patent and intellectual property law, I make an obscene amount of money, I am 2 years away from partner. I have a nice home in a great neighborhood in a beautiful place. I made $125K plus $45K bonus in my first legal job right before I turned 26. I say this not be cause I give a rat's patootie about it - money is not everything, but I know that is hard to believe when you are eating ramen noodles. Going to Fiji is nice but crying every night is not and working 80-90 hour weeks is not. Especially when that 80-90 hours revolves around demanding, unhappy, rude people who like to yell and fuss about why you haven't responded to their email in 5 minutes or why you can't turn around a 50 page patent license in 30 minutes. I have been thinking about the psych thing for a long time - took a leave of absence from my job, did course work and research at UNC, got letters of recommendation, got a 1250 on my GRE (I am going to try one more dreated time). I got accepted into a great program in Florida last year and turned it down. I know, I know. I couldn't live there. I went and just said to hell with alligators and 100% humidity and just plain out wierdness. At 22, I would have said who cares, but now, things are different. My husband and I are thinking about starting a family, things are different. I want to live someone where I like - I just can't help it. Does that make me bad? I am an only child and left my parents 1500 miles away and it absolutely broke my heart, but the program near where I was living is top 5 and was just not an option. Also, I am looking for a more clinically-oriented program. I don't want to hang out in an academic theoretical program for 7 years. Fortunatley, I have been saving a crap load of money to start this adventure. I don't know if I am doing the right thing - I hear about the glut, the low pay, the BPD patients, the dissertation, etc. Also, I think that I want to pursue the Ph.D., but don't really love research more than life itself - it's ok, I am good at it, but I am there to absorb everything there is to know about psychology and perhaps be an excellent clinician, perhaps professor, perhaps community leader, perhaps indudstry consultant, and/or author. Is a Psy.D., a PhD in counseling psychology, an MSW, MA, etc., going to offer me those opportunities - does it matter? I also don't want to hide who I am for these programs - I have been touched by mental illness in my family and I believe that if the theories that we research don't help people or are understanding and treatments for mental illness then we have all failed. My greatest single asset is my ability to movitiate others - I really suck at helping myself. I want the most options and the most opportunities to learn and grow. Not sure what program or degree that is. After giving up my slot at the Florida program and also one at another program. I half-heartedly applied this year to a few programs - got waitlisted a most. I was actually invited for interviews, but was out of town working on a deal in San Francisco and we were moving and didn't have a home phone in place and they didn't call my cell, so oh well. I only applied to 3 schools, so not a big deal. I think the turmoil of turning down the Florida program wacked me and I just wasn't ready. Maybe I am just running for something different - just to escape a job that i don't like. I don't know. I think if I can find what it is I am meant to do that I will make money and I will be successful. I am not worried about that. I just don't know anymore, and I am despondent and somewhat hopeless that I will never get out of the law - the rat race is unbelievable seductive. Ok, here goes, I am new to the Denver metro area, work mostly with men, and I have no one to talk to. I guesss I need to see a career counselor pronto... but I just don't know what to do. I I make a great living. I live in Boulder, for goodness sakes, I am shoveling money into my savings accounts have been maxing out my 401k for 6 years. But I want out of this soon - it is interfering me with my life, my health, my smile. I am beginning not to recognize myself anymore. But am I just running? Chasing another pipe dream? I have loved and been comforted by academic programs forever. What does that mean. Here are my thoughts - - My GRE is a 1250, Higher on verbal, I think that I can improve this, but math 650 is my tops probably. 4.0 psychology. 3.8 overall, 3.5/top 7% law school class top 15 school, law review, etc. Volunteer work, research experience, no publications, worked in Trauma 1 hospital in acute rehab for a year. - If I get into a program this year, do I go - screw the house payment and move again. I won't have as much in the bank, but some. - Reapply next year, take the GRE again, take a class at UC-Boulder, network my ass off at the programs. - Reapply next year at clinical/relaxed programs that are either close to Denver or in a more afforadable place: DU PsyD, I have one connection at UC-Boulder who isn't a complete wacko, University of Wyoming, University of Alabama - psych/law, East Carolina University in NC (its a new program), University of San Diego (seems like a stretch), University of Reno in Nevada, any other idea? I don't want to move to Chicago, New York, Atlanta. Could never get into Chapel Hill or Duke and don't know that I want to. Looking for a good fit that is friendly to non-traditional students. - Or maybe I should drop this whole thing and try photography, teaching, something else - do I really need a Ph.D. to earn a living, to make myself valuable - I have worked my tail off for a long time and I have a big pile of money to show for it. Oh well, what does it mean in the grand scheme of things when you don't have your soul - nothing. I don't know, I am beyond rambling. I am just feeling lonely and wishing that that there was someone out there in my boat who could commiserate.