In Which I Obsess About Things Over Which I Have No Control

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Alternate title for today's entry: Every Friggin' Day in Alison's Life.

I was talking to Ken the other night before bed and he was complaining because he was tired, but he couldn't stop thinking about what he was going to teach the next day, all of the grading he had to do, and other job-related things.  I said that that was how I lived every single day of my life; unable to shut off my brain, always thinking about something (usually multiple somethings), and generally being disturbed by many of them.  He kind of stared at me and asked how my head hadn't exploded yet.  I shrugged.  It's just the way I am.

But really, I think I spend... probably 90% of my waking hours worried or concerned about something, and most of those somethings are things over which I have little to absolutely zero control.  Surprising no one, my current obsession concern obsessive concern is PA school and decisions about the future related to same.  Before I wrote my last (actual) post, I had been all gung-ho for PA school.  Must go to PA school, being a PA is my destiny!  Go Team Physician Assistant!  ::waves flags::  Then I had to go an have the (long-time coming) psychological revelation about medical school and how hey, yeah, that actually still IS a possibility (albeit a slightly deranged one).

So I'm waiting for this USP news, which is making me feel like assaulting my mailbox every time there isn't anything in there except bills and mail for the old tenants (Sidenote: Why does someone think that NJ Web Design exists in my apartment?).  I stupidly allowed myself to peruse the PA Forum online, and two people had posted that they were accepted, although I am only inclined to believe one of them because one said he received an email on January 7th and I spoke to the admissions person on January 15th and she said that they hadn't mailed any decisions yet... so whatever.  The other person didn't say when she had been accepted, so who knows.  In any case, my brain went into overdrive thinking about how if they were accepting people, why hadn't I heard about MY fate yet, and clearly, I was destined to be rejected.

On top of that, I now am torn about even wanting to get in at this point, because now there's the bug of "oh hey, med school is a (slightly deranged) possibility" and if I did get in to PA school, then I'd feel obligated to go because I spent time and money (and excessive amounts of brain space) trying to get accepted... and to turn down a sure way into clinical medicine for a year of expensive stress/classes/exams and a mere possibility of getting into medical school seems... foolish.  Of course, then my brain goes down the rabbit hole of not getting accepted to PA school and going the route of reapplying to med school, which would involve a year of classes, studying for and retaking the damn MCAT, and the actual reapplication process.  The next logical (illogical?) step in this insane journey is then to contemplate post-bacc options.

Penn has 2, but I think I'm more suited to one than the other... of course, if I would just get my ass to the office during walk-in hours (which happen twice every Wednesday), then I would find out.  There's an online program offered through the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, which would be ideal, but it's expensive and doesn't offer payment plans or take financial aid.  Overall, it's less expensive than the Penn programs, but Penn takes financial aid and there's a chance that CHOP might reimburse me up to $4,000 a year for that (because it's an actual program, not just random classes).  And then there's always the community college, but the classes aren't convenient (as in, they run in the middle of the day, not helpful Camden County) and I have to actually sit in a community college class, which we all know makes me homicidal.  Drexel has a whole mess of post-bacc programs, but they're all full-time except for their night program, which takes 2 years to do, which is annoying.  This morning I had the even MORE deranged thought of, well, if I have to post-bacc full time, then maybe I should do that... but that is just NOT an option when there ARE part-time or evening options.  I mean, it's an option in the sense that yes, it's something one could do, but I am pretty sure that it would be a terrible idea for me... what with the needing an income and benefits and such. 

So, now I've spent time and space detailing all of these things and I still have no control over what happens.  I either get accepted to USP or I don't, and then... then I have a little control over what I do.  Either I go to PA school or I don't go to PA school and I decide to spend the next year taking classes and praying that I get into med school, and once again, I have no control over what happens in that regard.  Obviously, the underlying psychological issue in all of this is how much I crave control and how infrequently I can exact it over my life, which is what clearly gives me agida.  Sigh.  The answer is to learn to "go with the flow" but I just don't think that's how I'm designed.

And so, I will end this post without any real closure or development, other than to say... violent crime against mailboxes is not the answer, being a grown up is hard, and I need a nap.

- A

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