Wait, Dads are suppose to know everything

Please bear with me for a brief pause in our usual running/fitness programming;

For years, my Dad and I have used medicine, science, and world events to connect; MERS, SARS, MSRA, West Nile, Ebola, Zika all have been near constants in our conversations and in email.  Having grown up in the ER watching him (long before HIPPA) it is something I’m not only interested in, but it is a way for us to connect.  We can talk about agro-terrorism or pandemics in ways that most families discuss football.  Strange, I know, but it’s ours.

Already possessing two Master’s degrees going back to school wasn’t even on my radar.  Then an opportunity presented itself where work, if selected, would allow me to go to school full-time for a year paying my salary and up to $25k in education costs.  On paper there were a thousand reasons why this was a good idea; not just professionally, after working Latin America and Africa issues for over 15 years, but personally as well. I applied for the program and given that my particular area of focus is not a traditional area for my employer I didn’t give it a second thought.  Meh, they’ll probably give it to someone else, I thought.  Simultaneously, I had to apply to schools.  Meh, I’ll never get it in, I thought.  Then the unthinkable happened.  Not only did I get into both schools I applied to, but I was selected for the program as well.

IMG_8815This is where celebrations should be happening.  I should be THRILLED I have this amazing opportunity. Instead, I’m filled with doubt.  Which was only compounded by attending Graduate Orientation.  Is it anxiety just due to change? Is it because I am old enough to practically be their mother?  Is it because it is not the right path?  Of course, I called Dad, my trail guide/Yoda/guru/center of my universe, to ask for his advice.

I know can have these conversations with my Dad and he won’t pull any punches.  Yet, today, he didn’t know what to tell me either.  Huh.  I didn’t know Dad’s could play the “I don’t know, kid” card.  Instead, he asked me why I wanted to go for this program.

We started talking about emplaced nefarious biologics into and moving across agriculture devastating our food supply.  We spoke of weaponized diseases.  On and on for almost 45 minutes this conversation went.  At the end of the conversation he said to me, go to school over the summer see what your gut says.  If at the end of the summer you decide that this is not the path for you, then don’t walk down it. He went on to say, “You and I both know what sometimes doubt is the Lord’s way of keeping you from a bad path, but it is also the Devil’s work from keeping you from going down the right path.”  But, but, but, I wanted an answer today……..

So, here I stand, wondering.  Is this the right thing?  Is this the right path? Is this the right time? Or is there something else I am suppose to be doing.  I guess I will have to wait for an answer.  Crap…….I hate waiting…….


3 thoughts on “Wait, Dads are suppose to know everything

  1. adamhaesler says:

    Being a fellow a fellow scientist I am curious what the area of study you are thinking of diving into? And what areas you have done before?

    Regardless of the answer to the above, I think since I struggled with similar situations before all I can tell you is what I did.

    I set the opportunity aside and asked myself some very tough questions.
    1. What are all my goals is life right now?
    (Impossible to predict the future, but that would be really cool)

    2. What are my values?

    3. What are my top priorities in life right now and for the future?

    4. Am I truly doing this for myself, or for someone else (in your case one example might be your employer)? And if I am doing it partly for someone else, nothing wrong with this, but will I want to stick it out if for someone else when you have something due the next morning and you need to be up all night working on it? Also, if that person was no longer in my life are the skills and knowledge that I learned just as valuable to me, ie the one that did all the work?

    4. What are the pros and cons as they relate to answers to questions 1-3?

    5. Am I willing to accept all of the cons completely? (Unfortunately not really buffet situation, where you get to pick and choose, 🙂 )?

    5. Am I willing to accept the responsibility that comes with both pros, cons, and committing to everything else in between, with going back to school full-time?

    I think if you can honestly answer all these questions for yourself, and go back to school is the decision that wins in your mind, and heart, then you owe it to yourself to give it the college try!!!

    All the best, I know this is not an easy decision, but am confident you will be capable of making the one that suits you best.

    Have a wonderful day! 🙂


    • Adam, Thanks for the advice. I’m looking at an MPH specializing in the Environment. I wish I could answer all of those questions but right now I’m so stuck in the quagmire I can’t see straight. I’m hoping that the answers will come out on my runs and get me the clarity I’m so desperately seeking.

      Liked by 1 person

      • adamhaesler says:

        OK well I was just puting it out there, sometimes that is the best you can do. All the best with making your decision.


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