Never give up on the dream.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The last 8 days have been a whirlwind.

Literally and emotionally.

Last Sunday I woke up much too early and boarded a plane to make the 2500+ mile trek to a grad school interview. The one I was invited to back in June. The interview that was postponed by 5 weeks due to Hurricane Irma. The one that I had thought about every single day for over 150 days.

Irma didn't care that I had been anxiously awaiting that interview for four months. Or that I'd been rejected by one of my backup schools and waitlisted at another. It was the only invitation I had lined up at the time. And it wasn't just any program: it was one of my Top 2. The pipe dream school; the Ivy League of my chosen academic program.

The universe, in this case a violent weather pattern, has a way of putting your priorities into perspective. Of reminding you that your problems are First World, at best, and that there is real suffering. By the time my interview date rolled around I had a much healthier perspective regarding my chosen path and the inherent obstacles associated with it.

Monday morning I woke up bright and early, ate dusty hotel eggs, put on a suit, took a few deep breaths, and headed into my interview.

And for the very first time I felt like I could be myself. I talked about my life, my loves, and my passions. I may have even joked a time or two. Just like that the fire was reignited and all those rough patient care experiences, late night study sessions and days spent away from my family melted into the background.

I was pursuing my life's dream and had nothing to regret.

That evening I boarded a plane and flew back home. The next day I worked. And the day after that.

Those fancy interview shoes, though comfortable and well made, didn't hold up to an exceptionally long campus tour involving steep stairs, hills and a lost sense of direction for our poor tour guide. As a result I've spent the last week nursing some painful foot injuries. We're talking toes wrapped in blisters and many layers of skin sacrificed. (A shout out to Husband who has been an AMAZING medic and a coworker who patched me up after I bled through my socks on shift. They are my heroes.)

Thursday morning, while Husband and I sat chatting in our room, my cell phone rang. On the other end of the line was the director of admissions: By unanimous board decision, I had been accepted. There is a seat with my name on it.

And that's when the tears started.

That first day I burst into tears no less than a half dozen times, and in the days since there have been many more. While driving in the car, while laying in bed at night, while taking a shower, tears. Happy tears, of course, but also healing tears. Tears of reconciliation: I deserve this. My best was enough. My dreams are coming true. The past 9 years of hard work, struggle, mom + wife guilt, of feeling pulled in too many directions . . . it was all for something.

I did it.


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