I trudged into Meijer, head down against the wind, holding tightly to the plastic bag full of mail in my hand. With all of the snow and wind, I was probably only one of a dozen people in the store at 7:30 a.m., so I was able to walk right up to the service desk and plop my envelopes on the counter. Survey for Parker’s neurologist, belated thank you notes, tax consent forms for MCG, bills, and a large white envelope addressed to the DBA program director at Anderson University.
Swallowing hard, I filled out the Priority mailing label, slid my application inside, and “pressed firmly to close” before handing it to the cashier. I guess I was applying to graduate school after all, with just a few days to spare before the deadline.
It was odd. I felt strangely calm, in contrast to the hot mess I was a week ago, when I completely melted down, sobbing to Ben that this was obviously a very bad idea for our family, my peace of mind, and my ability to participate in anything fun for the next five years of my life. I may also have been hormonally crazy-wacked-out and on a strong decongestant/antibiotic cocktail, so that may have had something to do with my mental instability, but I was not feeling confident…AT ALL. Ben was oh-so-practical and calm, telling me to snap out of it. (Okay, he didn’t say that exactly, he was much more encouraging, but in my crazed mind, it sounded like that.)
But somehow, I did snap out of it and and re-wrote my essays over the past week, paper clipping the final draft to my application. In my essays, I talk about how my career path has brought me to this place to pursue my doctorate degree, and how I can and will bring a unique perspective to the program. It sounds pretty good on paper, and as I wrote, it reminded me of all the crazy pit stops and detours in my career that uniquely prepared me to be at this place at this time in my life.
Deciding to take a chance and post for a Training Consultant position at Old Kent Mortgage Company.
Getting the job and realizing that I really liked this teaching thing.
Losing my job right in the middle of my Masters program, which meant I didn’t have to repay a huge portion of my tuition or stay for extra years after I finished.
Staying connected to my professors at Cornerstone that got me into adjunct teaching.
Expanding my perspective and skill set with blogging…and marketing.
Taking a chance and applying for a professor job at Cornerstone.
And now I am here…a true example of a jungle gym career path, looking ahead at a blind corner, and not knowing what’s around the bend. I still think it’s going to resemble a knock-down, drag-out version of Survivor around here if I actually get accepted. Free time is overrated, right?
I guess we will figure that out when (and if) the time comes. And if I don’t get in this year…we will figure that out too. That’s what we do, right? We move forward, try new things, succeed sometimes, fail sometimes, melt down, pull ourselves together, and move forward again.
And then we buy ourselves a donut….which is what I did after leaving the service counter. Hard things are always tempered by sweet, empty calories, so it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.