When I took the GMAT my goal was a piece of paper that said MBA. When I applied to schools I picked two safe paper options. But, I also allowed myself to dream a bit. I picked a dream program and two other, more practical options. I wrote a bazillion essays, did an interview and filled out tomes of online applications and waited.
As always, life took over. In normal land, you check your email, you watch your application accounts for any sign of decision, and you consider each program each other replete with conversations with advisors. But I don’t live in normal land. Instead my days were filled with transitioning to my new Dow role, wrapping up the school year, packing for the states, scheduling appointments and friend time here and the other side of the world.
And we flew, and we saw all, and did all, and loved all. In the midst of this I got one acceptance via email in the airport in Saudi, and another via email in Frankfurt after our flight was cancelled. Once I got home to Houston I had another in the mail. And then I started to dream a bit… I packed for the reunion and thought of the current options and left them there at the house, there was no room in the car. When I returned, there was another waiting for me in the mailbox. And then came an email. One I didn’t expect to receive. Requesting a phone call with the dean of a program.
I drove out to Dow for an employee medical and got a phone call on the way home from the the dean. And, she welcomed me to their October cohort. I hung up and clapped and finally looked in the mirror. I had done something that when I walked into the GMAT I doubted with every fiber of my being. And I did it despite all of this being an unfortunately necessary afterthought.
And then, I had to pack up again and travel through the states, and my quiet moments became brief, and practical logic trumped the dreaming moments, as brief time does not humor fluid thoughts. But, at night when the house was silent, sometimes practicality didn’t win out over dreaming. I made the choice that was planned.
The process of registering with the practical choice has been more challenging than I anticipated. It seems I am a bit more of a round peg than I thought. Coupled with a bonus career in a role I’m actually quite brilliant at and enjoy, respect and admiration from saudi businessmen, and a strange ability to navigate this culture, my professional path home has now changed from a single exit to a major highway interchange. Along the way that piece of paper has morphed from a set of three letters to finding a program I love.
So, I sit at a crossroads between the practical and the passionately illogical.