Have you ever heard the quote by Woody Allen, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans"? I'm about 99.9% sure he was thinking of me when he said that. At this time last week, I was having a mental breakdown. I had just left a job I loved and was completely fulfilled by, to start a job that was monotonous and insulting to my intelligence. The love of my life had left for a campaign in Michigan and I was trying to figure out how to live by myself again. I wept and wept because I could not figure out why I was still in Wilmington. It seemed as if all the reasons for my being here had dissipated within a matter of days and I was stuck wondering what I was doing with my life.
Poor Chuck heard way too many rants about my desire to be doing something significant. Something I was passionate about. I kept being reminded, just suffer through this job until you save up enough money to live the life you want. This was not at all helpful. Money has never been, nor ever will be, a motivating factor in any decision I make as long as I am responsible for solely myself. Not only that, but I believe life is too short to be doing anything that makes you unhappy. Work constitutes at least 1/3 of your life...if you're not enjoying 1/3 of your life, than what are you doing?
Enter, Big Guns Upstairs. On my lunch break from the aforementioned boring day job, I came home to see a packet from Chatham University sitting in my mailbox. Long story short, I was accepted into the Masters of Food Studies program. I had done something I wasn't sure I ever would- gotten into grad school. I began questioning whether I could afford to attend, and if my finances should play a role in whether I enrolled. A couple days went by speaking to multiple people about my situation, until finally, I said "The hell with it!" I got accepted into the grad program I'd had my eye on for years! Yes, I'm currently in a massive amount of student loan debt from my undergraduate career and it may not be the most rational decision to put myself into further debt, but what is the fun in being rational?!
Putting myself into debt the first time around to go to Eastern probably wasn't rational. But had I not, I would not have met some of my best friends in the world. I would not have gotten a social justice-centered Christian education. And I would not have discovered my calling. Studying in an underdeveloped African country may not have been rational. But I got to have an amazing cross-cultural experience. I was able to bust down the walls of my comfort zone. But most of all, I was able to obtain my motivation for devoting my life to feeding the hungry. These were risks to some people. But as I have discovered, I am a risk-taker.
I believe in living a life sans regrets. 20 years from now, I don't want to wonder what had happened if I had chosen to get a graduate level education. I would much rather think back on my young adult life when I was eating Ramen noodles on the floor of a cheap apartment, literally living on love and sacrificing to obtain the knowledge I wanted and deserved. Choosing to go to grad school might be a risk, but hell, what is life without a few risks?! So as of today, let it be known that come Fall 2011, I will be an incoming graduate student in the College of Graduate Studies at Chatham University. Pittsburgh has no idea what it's in for...