I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights in the last couple of years. That changed a few weeks ago. Once I had the grad school applications in, things got a lot better. Last night was an exception, though. I woke up at an ungodly hour and couldn’t get back to sleep. By about 4:30 this morning, I had myself thoroughly convinced that neither of the schools I applied to would accept me, I wouldn’t be able to land a position in the field and that I’d end up doing contract work as a business analyst for pharma companies for the rest of my life. Worry and insecurity can get pretty intense in the middle of the night and your mind tends to go to extremes. Well, mine does anyway. In the light of day, I don’t really think I’ll get rejected at every turn. I just wish I had a crystal ball to see how this was all going to turn out.
It was kind of enlightening, though. My visceral reaction to the possibility of doing that kind of work tells me that my happiness definitely lies elsewhere. One of the first things I did when I got up was go to my list of “Things I might want to be when I grow up” and cross that off the list. There might be variations of it that I could get into, but that particular thing is my past, not my future, if I can help it. I’m learning to listen to my gut.
It’s funny I had this happen this week, when other things went pretty well. I had a delightful conversation with a bigwig in the division of the National Park Service that handles wildlife management. He was very encouraging and gave me some good suggestions for how to break into the field, even without further schooling. He brought up the possibility of working with the NPS on a project on a volunteer basis, to get to know some people better and let them get to know what I can do. He even sent a message to a couple of his colleagues here in my area asking them to get in touch with me about it. I’ll follow up with them if I don’t hear back. Fingers crossed.
Also, I had my first rabies vaccination in preparation for starting to work with critters in rehab. Didn’t hurt a bit. If only this whole process were as easy. I might sleep better.