Back to our regular programming

Back in February, I bought an immense GRE practice book (literally the “5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems”), and I’ve spent the past two months working my way through it. Yesterday, I took the GRE, and earned a score higher than the score I got back in college. Granted, I barely studied then because I was taking tests nearly every week.

“What are you going to do with all of your free time now?” Greg asked last night. “Go grocery shopping without the kids,” I said. That’s my idea of a great day out.

But what am I really going to do now? The tentative plan is that I will apply to schools in the fall so that I can go back for a master’s of public health. This feels equal parts exciting and insane. Is this what our family is supposed to do? When I was younger, I moved cross-country with barely a thought, but I knew that was what I was meant to do. College, internships, and new jobs fell into my perfect little life plan. Now I am making the same sorts of decisions I made at 22 but with three other people to consider. Is there a manual for adulthood that no one has told me about?

Also, as much as Greg and I are proponents of personal growth and trying new things, we are bad at making major changes. Really bad, you guys. It took us 10 years to buy patio furniture, and even then we only committed to the love seat.

I have a long list of reasons why my going back to school is a great idea, not just for me but for our whole family. I would like for our kids to learn that they can adapt and make friends in new places. I would like for them to see that even old people like me can try something new. I would like for us to have adventures in a different part of the country (With snow?), and yes, okay, maybe for Henry’s thick southern accent to diminish (He calls that place you stay on vacation a “hotail.”).

I have watched enviously as other friends have gone back to school, moved away. Now that it finally feels like my turn, I worry that I’m not brave enough. Our life here is very comfortable, and change is uncomfortable, to put it mildly. Stay tuned.

5 thoughts on “Back to our regular programming

  1. First, I LOVE solo trips to the grocery store. Chicago’s Mariano’s serves beer so and I can listen to podcasts on my phone as I shop. I know it’s talked about like a “mom” thing, but I think of it as more of a productive-but-happy time that anyone can use.

    Second, I’m NOT going back to school…. but if I did – MPH! What would you do with it? Tell me! Awesome!!!

  2. I think moving and changes become easier the more you branch out and take the risks. At first, the thought of leaving Los Angeles was like… ?! Why would I ever? It literally had never occurred to me that I COULD leave. That I might actually WANT to leave.

    And you know what? We’ve lived in 4 other states/countries since and it’s been a wild ride, but one I won’t ever regret. We were actually given the opportunity (and great job) to move back to LA (where I would’ve surely found a teaching job immediately because I have contacts there!) but turned it down. We have more adventuring to do.

    Maybe I was always okay with change. I’m not sure. Change started around age 24 when I got word that I’d be leaving LA the following year. Ever since then, I get a thrill– an almost addiction– to the thought of new places and spaces.

    Congrats on your GRE score upgrade! That at least makes you feel like the last decade or two made a difference in your intelligence growth. ;) I wish you all the best with the choices ahead, but just remember… this is America. It’s not a third world country and regardless of where you end up (though admittedly I won’t live in certain states!), it’s still good ol’ America with the amenities you want/need.

    Can’t wait to read along!

  3. Amanda, I know that I want to specialize in maternal and child health, and I’m hoping that school can help me find a direction as far as the job. I’m interested in research, but how would I apply that? I could see working in an academic setting or in public policy. Nursing never quite felt like the right fit for me, but I think this could be given that it’s similar to some of the writing work I have loved doing.

  4. That’s wonderful! As an undergrad I vowed to take the GRE once (without studying!) and luckily my score got me into the schools to which I applied. When I went back to school I was married and we were “planning” on a family and it never occurred to me to apply to programs in other parts of the country (although we would definitely move for a dream job) so kudos to you. How exciting!

  5. And definitely look at programs that offer TAships / tuition remission, but I’m sure you’re aware…

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