“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Lewis Carroll (was this the Cheshire Cat?)
I’m on my way but I don’t know where I’m going…taking my time and I don’t know where…kind of like Simon and Garfunkel, except that I’m in graduate school and working on getting my MBA, in significant enough debt, somewhat mostly miserable (and having packed on the unhappy weight to prove it), and just a few months away from study abroad in Asia, where my workload should decrease substantially.
I have very ambivalent feelings about graduate school. If only I had been wise enough, I probably could have learned the very same lessons on the open road, or in some less stressful and less expensive place. It may not have come with a degree though. Or I could have gotten a degree in France, which would have bee cheaper and in France as long as it wasn’t an MBA. Or I could have just settled down and been a high school teacher, or took the long, difficult path to becoming a college professor. Or I could have gone to law school. This line of thought is rather exhausting, wouldn’t you say? The last thing I need on top of my workload.
But right now, this is where I am. I don’t really like it, but I’m not sure where a better place to be would be. I know the difficulty won’t last forever, and the letters at the end of my name will (what they’ll be worth to me, I don’t know.) My most precious resource, time, has been used, as well as money I haven’t even come close to earning yet.
Yet I find myself in a place that is dedicated to my growth and development, whether it is perfectly conducive to my individual needs or not. Whether it’s a mistake or a blessing mostly in disguise, I’m grateful to have had this opportunity. I wonder whether I should quit and go do something else, and I know I can’t wait forever to figure out what that something else will be. And I will do more than just mark time while I’m here. I’m really learning things, including about what I don’t like.
So maybe I can’t blame the path or hate myself for making such an expensive mistake. I figured out what I wanted, for the most part, and it was a necessary step in the path- it was not the be-all end-all that I hoped, and maybe those expectations weren’t realistic. This experience has made me realize I’m so far from the end, I’m only just beginning, and maybe it’s not fair to call it a sunk cost- just a giant pain in the neck that has painfully taught me what I don’t want. And it could have been worse, after all.
So the sky is wide open. Sure, my packs might be saddled a little heavier with some student debt, but it was an investment in myself. And I am worth investing in. And God doesn’t give us burdens we can’t bear.
I’m here now to take the time and use these resources to figure out how to use my talents in the professional world, and find the sweet spot between what I’d like to do and what people will pay me money for. A wise investment, indeed.
And the sky is still wide, and the road is clear and open…