Kicking Off the Year of the Monkey

Yes, I know it’s been almost a year since my last blog post.  This is how it always is; let’s move on.

A lot has happened in the last 11 months, and the times, they are a-changing.  Not all of it is going to come out now (I’m still personally processing a lot of thoughts), but I wanted to jot down whatever I can in the hopes that it will help me organize everything that’s percolating in my head.

However, before I begin, here are a few photos of my my trip to Yosemite National Park back in August 2015.  The short version of how my trip went: it was absolutely amazing.  Being away and surrounded by stunning nature was exactly what I needed in terms of a vacation.  To see the full album, click here!

IMG_4740-13     IMG_4815-10

There seriously were way too many stunning views to photograph.

So, for the better part of this past year, I have been mired in the process of applying for graduate school (if anyone’s interested, for a Masters in Public Administration).  To say the least, it’s been a long and tedious process.  Over the course of the summer and into the fall, I was studying for and took the GRE (which forced me to revisit high school level math…which was not fun).  In the fall and through the winter, I took an online economics course at my local community college and submitted applications to 7 graduate programs.

The entire process itself has forced me into an extended period of self-reflection.  The sheer financial burden of all the costs associated with just submitting a competitive application meant that I had to be absolutely certain this was the path I wanted to take.  Then, writing compelling personal statements meant having to thoroughly evaluate my personal motivations and career goals.  It’s been arduous, humbling and utterly terrifying.

And it’s all culminated in this moment.  Two days ago, I received my first admissions response from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and, to my complete amazement, I was accepted into their dual-degree program.  As one of my top-two choices, I’m still a bit in shock over it (a small, paranoid part of me is still waiting to receive an email saying that it was a mistake).

Instantly, everything has gone from abstract to surreal.  The next stage of my life has, thus far, always been a vision; a concept; a indistinct goal to work toward.  Now, it’s suddenly within my grasp.  While the start-date for my program is still several months away, it’s only a couple months away.  And while nothing is set in stone yet (is anything ever?) I’m planning for the future.  I’m thinking about what personal belongings to get rid of to minimize what I have to move.  I’m planning a cross-country trip to get myself to the East Coast.  My housemates are putting together a bucket list of things I need to do before I move.

The whole thing has seriously blindsided me.  Eventually, I’ll be able to formulate my thoughts, articulate how I truly feel about leaving my job, my friends and this place that, in the last 7 years, I’ve fallen madly in love with.  But for now, it’s a flood.  Time to swim.


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