Friday, August 31, 2007

This I Know

I graduated with a B.S. in psychology. Took the extra couple science classes for the B.S., because at the time I felt science was more respected than the arts. I intended to follow a friend's footsteps into neuropsychology, I studied hard for the entrance exams, applied to a number of schools, and went on interviews. I was ready to settle down and dive into my future at the same time.

My favorite school was in Kentucky. The blue skies, the fenced pastureland for horses, historic homes lined the campus, built for southern charm. This place offered a culture that seemed new to me. I asked one of the interviewing professors if he enjoyed living in Lexington. He laughed, as if I expected to do any "living" while immersed in my studies. Well, yeah, of course I did.

A professor held a party for us, the night before the actual interviewing began. After making introductions, I sat out in the night air, feeling very concerned about this commitment I was setting to make. A graduate student checked on me a couple times, as I innocently, like the young woman I was, said something didn't feel right. My intuition had always given me yes/no answers, and I faithfully listened.

When I returned home I waited for other acceptance/rejection letters. I'd made it on the alternate list in Kentucky. I called the most appealing of the professors twice, the one who seemed the least understood, but the smartest of all the staff. He connected with me, and understood that my commitment to check back meant I'd be serious if accepted. If any of the other candidates declined, I'd be in. He sounded sad when my space was filled.

Wisconsin gave me a phone interview which I failed miserably, on purpose. My heart was nowhere near it. Another school, which required no interview, accepted me. Why would I go to a school that didn't require an interview?

I set myself free to live my life. My fiance, who was off at his first year of medical school, begged me to come live with him. An "international" school, on a beautiful caribbean island, it didn't sell me. He said I'd make a great doctor. No, and I needed to end the engagement.

Then, the great flood happened. I'm not joking. I was at the frontlines sandbagging, the dike broke that night, and we evacuated. Thousands moved away, but I stayed to rebuild a life.

I didn't finish my senior honors thesis, on the memory deficits of temporal lobe damage. In fact, I still felt guilty for forcing the patients to go through my stupid tests. They wanted healing, not more measures of their disorder. It was complete, I'd dumped my old life and had faith in the new.

While relocated in Fargo, I said a prayer. I said all smart-assey, 'cause I'd never believed before, "God, take me where you will. I will follow you everywhere, I promise." I thought that should cover it. And I fell.

2 comments:

Lawyer Mama said...

North Dakota? I lived in Grand Forks for 5 years. I also have a BS in psychology. Sometimes things happen for a reason....

growingupartists said...

Oh, no regrets. It's always for a reason.