It’s been a while since we’ve taken a moment to catch up- to have a heart-to-heart, if you will. In February I found out that I wasn’t accepted into graduate school. After 4 years of working and going to school in between and after jobs on late nights and weekends to get the necessary credits, I wasn’t accepted into any school. It wasn’t really a result I was expecting, as I genuinely thought that if I just kept pushing down the path I had set for myself, once I made it to this point- this point of applying- that I would be accepted into a school and eventually become a RD. But as we all probably know, life doesn’t always work the way you expect it to.
Devastated, however, wouldn’t be the correct word to describe how I felt – I was confused, upset and dumbfounded but, if we are being completely honest here, I was also relieved. Yes, I have the option to apply to several programs that have later deadlines, or also the opportunity to reapply next year, but I no longer want to.
For a while I have felt a nagging uncertainty about the path I had set for myself. I had worried about starting out with school again with no income, accruing tens of thousands in debt from student loans, to begin a new career in my 30’s. I had worried about being trapped- not just because of debt but because of the job I would be starting. When people ask you to imagine your dream goal, or what you want to be doing in 5 years or 10 years- what the number one thing you want is, my answer has always been “the ability to travel and have flexibility”. While I don’t travel as much as I would like internationally, I enjoy having the freedom to change plans last minute- to head out for the weekend without drastic reorganization. And yet, I was throwing myself down a path that wouldn’t allow me the single-most important thing I have always prioritized- freedom.
I am still passionate about health and nutrition and I love researching various aspects of it, and so I regularly feel conflicted about the time I spent studying and preparing for a degree in it. I also feel conflicted about not choosing to apply to other schools- about continuing to push and really fight for it.
When I realized I wouldn’t be starting graduate school in the fall I felt lost and uncertain. Were the last 4 years simply a waste? And whether they were or weren’t, what would I do instead? I also realize however that 4-year schools (or 2-year schools) aren’t always the answer but at this point, in general, I don’t feel like I have a lot of answers. So while I still don’t quite have answers for that, but let me tell you what I do know:
- I’m now taking a 3-month digital marketing course (another passion of mine- and one that allows me remote flexibility) with the hopes of learning more and expanding my portfolio.
- I am working on a website for the launch of my eventual tea business, tea stories.
- My garden, which I largely started from seed this year, is thriving and I’m excitedly anticipating a nice harvest.
- I now have bees and a beehive set up in the back yard. Each morning I joyfully get up to check on them and give them supplemental food and each day I go to watch them at various times.
- Whether in my car, on the Spin bike or in the house, each day I’ve found myself dancing to either Prince, Bruno Mars, Queen or Bowie.
While these might not be the exact answers I am looking for, they are the steps I’m taking to hopefully recoup, reorganize and re-launch myself onto a different path.