Today, I submitted my first graduate school application.
To some, this is mundane business, but for me, it's the culmination of probably three years of work.
My undergraduate degree was stressful, calling for more commitment and more focus than I thought I had. I got through it through, because of -- and sometimes in spite of! -- a set of supportive, entertaining friends. With this in mind, it was easy at first to ignore the glimmers of desire I had to pursue more education. I'd never be able to get a Masters, I thought. Look at how hard it was to get this degree! I just don't have what it takes for graduate school.
Yet the desire stayed. Through tumultuous relationships and cross-country moves, doubt and anxiety, there was still an ambition in my heart that I wasn't brave enough to face.
Then, I got married. Having Chris in my life has changed everything. Or, at very least, it's enabled me to actually be who I have always been. Chris is teaching me to love that I get disproportionately excited about things, or as he puts it, to love my "exuberant antics." He helps me to realize that it's okay to get upset with people sometimes, because there's such a thing in the world as gentleness and forgiveness. He also supports and encourages me on a daily basis, without which today never would have been possible.
Based on a steady trickle of personal revelation on the subject, I believe that getting more formal education is going to make me a better mother. My heart swells at the thought that, even now, Chris and I are working to give our children the kind of life and home that will give them the best possible chance of happiness.
In addition, it's the pursuit of our own dreams and ambitions that will give them that. I'm so grateful that I don't have to choose between them. If I am patient and work hard, every dream can and will come true, ranging from a doctorate to motherhood to, I don't know, learning to play the cello. God loves me, and wants me to be happy, and put a very special man in my life to remind me that every day.
See? Dreams really do come true.