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.
This 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…….