I want to go to graduate school.
I work full-time. I have friends, family, church, and personal responsibilities (like all of you). This semester I've shaved off every unnecessary, extraneous time filler in my life and even seriously cut my social life. I have to clean my house, do laundry, make food and go shopping. For my health and sanity, I need enough sleep, some good food, exercise and scripture study. I've tried to plug every hole, fill every gap, cover every necessity. I have about three hours every evening where I have to cook dinner, do a cleaning job, meet with tutors, study, do research and prepare everything for the next day. On Saturdays I volunteer at the mental hospital, do errands, grocery shopping and menu planning, go to the temple, and study as many hours as possible.
Here are the five things that fill every single extra pocket of time in my life. These are the five things that tug at my brain every single day.
1. Apply for graduate school with letter of intent and letters of recommendation
2. Study for two classes
3. Prepare for the GRE
4. Do research for a professor
Each item is calculated, measured, packaged and slipped into one of the available slots in my life. I wish I could say not a moment is wasted. I wish I could say that I dominate my schedule. I wish I could say that. I'm doing the best I can. I'm doing better than I've ever done. I'm also staring down every weakness, giving up every bad habit, and sacrificing nearly every past pleasure to work towards this goal.
It feels hard. I don't want to do it all the time. I want to watch TV, visit more friends, cook more, travel, organize my recipe collection, undertake big projects for Christmas, sing in the stake Christmas program and a million other things.
But somewhere, somehow, for some reason, I really want this goal in my life. And I'm not even sure if after all of this work, I will reach it.
That's where I want to go though. And I must tell you that after several years of living in indecision and muddling through mediocrity, I would trade them for the toughness of this goal. Because whether yes or no at the end of this year, I hope to know deep inside that I gave it everything I had and then some.
It makes life feel worth living when you stand on your very tippy tiptoes, stretch out your arms and R E A C H.