Monday, April 27, 2015

Life Changes: Mid-Life Crisis

Last summer, we had a little mid-life crisis going on in our lives. Alex was completing an internship at a reputable place for his major, Mechanical Engineering. After a few weeks of waking up early, getting to work, and always having little to nothing to work on, it started wearing on him. I was at a loss, honestly. I was having a great summer, myself. Sleeping in, watching Grey's Anatomy, working for my uncle whenever I felt like it... Suddenly life was turned upside down when Alex told me that maybe he had made a mistake with Mechanical Engineering. Maybe he had just chosen it because his friends were doing it. Maybe he should have chosen something else. Heck, maybe he should become a surgeon! (This coming from a man terrified of needles... you can see he had reached the edge.) I tried to be supportive and listen to his concerns. To be honest, it was pretty terrifying to me! I thought I had married a man who knew what he wanted to do and had a plan! However, I knew that we would figure out a solution.

We tossed around the idea of med school for a while. We talked about a big fancy offer the company he was working for had made him. They would pay for his masters and give him a ton of money as a sign on bonus, as long as he worked for them for three years afterward. We tossed around ideas of staying at Utah State to pursue a masters so there would be more interesting job offers available to him. The confusion and stress continued, and we reached no decisions. It was hard! I wanted to know what the future held. I'm sure I was causing more stress by constantly wanting to talk about it and make a decision, but I just needed to know what was going to happen in my life!

I prayed nightly for Alex, and for a prompting toward what decision we should make. Med school seemed like a crazy idea to me. I knew it was something that paid off in the end, but I couldn't imagine actually going through with it. The offer from the company seemed too good to be true, and I knew it really was. Eventually they would tie him down, doing a job he had no passion for. He would be miserable! It seemed like the only option would be to get higher education if he wanted a career doing something that interested him, but Utah State seemed to sound like a boring option. He just wasn't sure if we should stay in Logan.

One night, as I was mulling over the options in my mind, a sudden thought came to me. It was unexpected, an option we hadn't even considered. I rolled over and said, "Alex? What if you could go to M.I.T.?"

Suddenly everything changed. As we considered the possibility of going elsewhere for school, and especially to schools with a great reputation, Alex became more excited about the future. Both of us knew this was the right step to take in our lives. This meant that Alex had a little over three months to study for and take the G.R.E., but he's a good test taker, and I promised to help him study.

Alex did amazing on the G.R.E., and we started applying to schools. We chose 11 different schools of varying prestige. We decided to not limit ourselves. We had never thought of going somewhere else for school, because we had never considered it as an option! We were limiting our own future, when in reality, we were in charge of our own future. We could choose how big we wanted to dream, or how small. Like Jim Carrey said, "You can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love."

And you guys! It worked!

To be continued.

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