Friday, October 7, 2016

Want to make God laugh? Tell her your plans.

You know that old saying about how the mark of civilization or madness or intelligence or whatever is the ability to hold two competing ideas in mind at the same time and believe both? Well, I've been meaning to post about that. I've been pursuing this PA thing for four years now. Last year I applied to a few programs knowing I barely qualified but hoping they'd take me anyway (this did not work). This year, I applied to eight programs. Next year, I will be in PA school (plan A) or I will have passed the crossroads of Plan B.

I've already gotten a rejection from my top pick--and from a program I didn't even apply to. So, I've been wrestling with plan B and all its iterations: holding two certainties that can't coexist. B1 is to firmly believe I will be a PA, and I will keep gaining experience and keep taking classes until a program accepts me. B2 is to accept that I've given it a good run, and now it's time to go back to work where I'll get salary and insurance and retirement in a career that is acceptable but not as fulfilling.

The problem here is that I can't embrace one option while also pursuing the other. I'm not built that way. I don't think it means I want a PA career any less; it means I'm pragmatic about the odds of getting into this very competitive field. I'm sure there's a smattering of imposter syndrome too, some level of conviction that I really don't deserve to be there, or I can't really hack it, amidst all of those bright young students who surely grasp math and science much faster and better than I, who can survive on little sleep and much caffeine, who have done amazing things in this world.

But that is not the point today. Today I am over the moon that one of my top schools picked me--me! to interview. Plan A may just work out.

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