Monday, August 07, 2006

MBA Postponed?

So over a leisurely Saturday morning breakfast this weekend, my husband and I decided that, on second thought, maybe applying for Fall of 2007 was rushing things - it seems better to apply for Fall of 2008. That morning and yesterday the decision seemed like a great relief - it would give me time to get personal matters in order, study for the GMAT in a more leisurely way, put together a solid R1 application for next fall, get some extracurriculars on my resume ;), spend more time with a new baby (if that is in our near future) and not make my husband leave his new job after only a year and a half. But this morning a feeling of dread and panic has settled over me about pushing the application deadline out. What on earth am I going to do for the next 2 years? Is my career ever going to be satisfying? What am I doing!

Let's step back a moment. First a little more introduction: After suffering through 2 years of trying to survive on freelance work in Pacific Northwest city A (PNA) my husband, let’s call him ‘Y’, lept at a job offer in Pacific Northwest city Z (PNZ) last spring. The pay is great, the project is exciting and the two cities are only 3 hours apart, making for an easier transition than when he lept at an opportunity in Texas (not Austin ...) several years ago and we moved our northerly little selves down there for an unfortunate year. The problem is that I have a good (not great) job in PNA and a wonderful, old home which I am deeply attached to and I just can't bear the thought of leaving. PNA is my home, not a temporary stopping off point. Except for that year in Texas (which we both just pretend never happened), I've lived here for 7 years and in my house for 6 years.

So we thought that maybe we'd just have 2 homes for awhile until Y could get a good job in PNA. But he's been living and working in PNZ while I've been living and working in PNA for 5 months now and as it turns out we are definitely not into the long distance thing and since my job is just good and his is great - I'm moving to PNZ in the fall. Phew.

So the grad school interest was largely in reaction to a dissatisfaction with my job opportunities in PNZ and the fact that my husband initially thought this job would only be an 18 month affair after which he'd be looking for work again (~Fall 2007). I thought, well, I'll get pregnant, move to PNZ, take short-term project work, have the baby, stay home with the baby for about 3 months and then start an MBA program in the fall. I didn't want to waste a single spare moment. I already feel like I'm not moving forward quickly enough in my career and am terrified of what having a baby is going to do to my career, so I thought I could combine baby and school and come out after a couple years with my job prospects more solid than ever. The fact that the timeline seemed likely to kill me and/or drive my husband and me to divorce, was troubling but not sufficient reason to push anything back. (Because of the move, I need to rent or sell my house and complete all the house projects that I've been putting off while studying for the GMAT and completing my grad school applications this fall. Nice.)

But now Y thinks the project will last longer than originally expected and it dawned on me that dragging my husband and hypothetical newborn across the country to launch myself into a top-notch graduate program, might not exactly be a recipe for success, not to mention that my odds of turning in a top-notch application this fall not looking good, given all that's on my plate.

So I know it's the sane thing to wait and I know I'm perpetually overestimating myself (or underestimating the world) and have learned and relearned the hard lessons of over committing myself too many times to carry on with this plan so blithely but instead of feeling this relief this morning I just feel terrified. Leaving my home and community for uncertain employment, an uncertain maternal future, and an inability to really commit myself to anything given all that’s up in the air sends me into a fit of panic. I’m terrified that no one worthwhile will ever hire me, I’m terrified of not having a paycheck, I’m terrified that staying home with a baby in a new city w/no friends or family near will drive me to despair, I’m terrified of wasting all these years I’ve worked to build my intellect and professional knowledge in another barely satisfying job. Another day, I’ll feel more upbeat and rational about it all but today this is how I feel. Overwhelmed and depressed and sick of the uncertainty. Yesterday, I felt optimistic and excited and ready for a break – so that side is there too.

Most of my GMAT books were waiting for me when I got home to PNA from PNZ yesterday evening. So that’s great – I’ll start my self-study course today and will just take it one day at a time. Who knows, maybe I will apply for '07. If only they let you defer acceptance. Too bad.

Until next time …

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