Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's a No.

I heard from Vanderbilt yesterday. It's a no from them.

I think the automatic response from friends and family is "oh no!" Honestly, I'm bummed about it, and disappointed, but I'm not sad. I don't feel super upset, I'm not crying myself to sleep, I'm doing well actually.

I won't deny that I really did want to go there. At the same time, if you've talked to me in the last few months since I decided to and did apply, you'll remember that I always felt 'half and half' about it. I wanted to go and was (am) in love with the program. At the same time, I could delineate more than ten reasons NOT to go to THIS grad school at this time. I don't want to make it sound like I'm taking away from the fact that I'm disappointed and DID want to go. At the same time I think I have known for a while now that it wouldn't work out with Vanderbilt.

It's a mixed blessing really. I mean, no, it isn't mixed. It IS a blessing. It is great to know the answer, one way or another. And honestly it is good to see that I'm bummed, but not torn apart by it. It isn't making me doubt my worth, my intelligence, my academic ability, or that SOMEday I'll pursue a Master's.

I think in some ways this was a sneaky little way of trying to fill in the blank on a very large and gaping hole of unknown. It is difficult to "live with open hands." What I mean is that it is hard to find a healthy balance between doing MY part and using the abilities God has given me, and also to recognize that He is ultimately in control and I can't really change that (nor do I consciously think I want to). I think applying was good, but I'm just now realizing that I was kind of mentally envisioning myself attending school and because that is a familiar and beloved place for me, I could take comfort in that idea. I'm not certain this is wrong, but I feel like I'm already starting to learn a lot about what it is like to live one day, one step at a time. I DON'T have any idea what is next. I think those thoughts are a bit jumbled, sorry.

I think it is GOOD that I applied -- I really learned a lot about myself, the process, and some of the challenges that came along with this process that I didn't expect. I am still very glad I applied. There are three other schools at this point that I may apply to that are more local-type schools. Their applications aren't due until June and July so I have time to think and pray about whether those are good options. I don't want to rule out school simply because I didn't get in to Vanderbilt, but I don't want to go to school simply because I know I CAN do it and am, to whatever degree, fairly decent at it.

So, all that babble is to say thanks! Thanks for your cheering me on and reading draft after draft (Megan, Beth, Staci, Mom, Kim, Matthew, etc) of my personal statement. Thanks for helping me gear up to ask for recommendations (Matthew, Staci, Danette, Megan, Mom...). Thanks for supporting me in this little endeavor, to whatever degree!

Now the question is... what's next? It is kind of funny because before I checked the mail yesterday I was formulating a blog about how I'd love to go to culinary school. I'm not convinced that is what is next for me, but its an option. At this point in my life I still feel like there are about seven different categories/genres that REALLY pull at my brain/heart/nervous system and get me excited, so that leaves the door WIIIIDE open.

Ok, so enough of that. I promise to update you as my thoughts develop. Thanks for reading, and thanks for cheering me on to whatever it is that is next.


melissa o said...

Love you.

Allison and Noah Riley said...


Reading this post, I was suddenly drawn back about 5 years to my UNC application and "we regret to inform you..." letter. I remember a very sweet "are they crazy?" exchange in the Cain kitchen that was oddly comforting and in some strange way gave me the validation I think I was seeking from those Tar Heels. I've always been so appreciative of that exchange and of your genuine care and concern. And so, in the spirit of raising a confused eyebrow toward higher learning institutions, "Are they crazy?!"

I read the first paragraph of your post and reacted as you anticipated, "oh, no!" But of course, as I read on, I was reminded of what it is about you that never ceases to amaze me - the perpsective. Thank you for your truly amazing outlook.