Choose One Door, A Million Others Close

Perhaps the title was a big enough clue so you know what this post is about:

GRADUATE SCHOOL.

That’s right, I’m applying!

So far, it’s…stressful and tiring. And oh yeah, TERRIFYING.

And exciting.

Terrifying.

And exciting!

But, not long ago, I was discussing how hard it is for me to commit to anything, especially in the career arena. As one of my co-workers pointed out, “That’s because it feels like if you choose one door, a million others will close.”

That has been reverberating in my head.

While I’ve never been one to think that once you pick something, you can never change your career path or move onto different things or move to a new city/state/country and start over, this still scares me.

Yes, commitment is terrifying to me, mostly because even if a million other doors may not necessarily close, some do. Perhaps I’m this way because of my previous laissez-faire approach to decisions like this. As in, I only applied to two colleges, and switched my major about once a week for the first two years.

I kept expecting to find my niche, that one passion I’m fated to pursue.

While I settled on English and writing, and know writing is always going to be a part of my life, I’m not sure I want that to be my only career.

Last year, I applied to grad schools, as well. But halfheartedly–I was applying to everything to keep my options open. That’s a habit of mine, apparently. I also primarily applied to creative writing programs–and then realized I could never justify going back to school to something so close to English, something that would bring me even deeper into debt without a practical way to pay it off.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I was being practical. I’m growing up!

So I chose AmeriCorps instead, and my life has circled around to applying to grad school, yet again. This time for something completely different–and my experience has been completely different, as well.

I feel pretty good about this path.

I also feel pretty good about the fact that I can change this path, if I want, but I’ll still have a viable course of income. It’s also a path I can customize to what I decide I want later down the line: It may help me travel, maybe work with a nonprofit, and maybe even expand my writing career, someday.

It sounds perfect.

So I’m terrified. Again, it’s a CHOICE. A choice I REALLY REALLY WANT.

However, I’m trying to be grown up here and keep my options open.

I’ve decided that if I don’t get into grad school  I will a) work for the Denver Post (since that’s so easy, I’m sure) or b) go to pastry school. Then I can do happy things like make wedding cakes and have a bakery by the sea. Never mind that pastry school was supposed to be the career after this career, but I can change my plans if I must.

OH, I can also probably stay at this job another year, too. 🙂

And, no, before you ask, I’m not going to tell you what I’m applying for–I don’t want to jinx it. This way, it’ll be a fun post for both of us if I get in–a celebratory post and I’ll get to blab all about my new schooling when I actually know that’s what I’ll be doing.

Now I need to go get those applications in…stay tuned for more grad school news in March!

(Oh God. The waiting…)