I got in!!!
To Duke University! As in, the number-two program in the country (formerly number one), the program that invented the PA profession, the program that only accepts 8 percent of its applicants, the school that everybody secretly wants to go to. That program. I got in.
It seemed like everyone around me had no doubts at all, but let me tell you -- I did. I mean, some of the interview questions threw me for a loop... I did most of my prerequisites at a community college... and I have a bachelor's in linguistics, for crying out loud -- what could be more of a one-eighty? And yet, it's like I said in my last post. I feel like they saw me at that interview, warts and all, and that they still gave me a unanimous Yes.
I came home and cried, honestly, just because I was so relieved. I can breathe again. The past three years have been so incredibly hard in so many ways -- full-time school plus full-time work, doing a job I hated (the ambulance, not the pediatrician), living in crappy apartments with Dumpster-salvaged furniture, counting every single penny -- and now... I don't have to worry anymore! Yes, the next two years are going to be insanely difficult, there will definitely be times when I'm ripping my hair out, and I will be up to my eyeballs in loans... but in a way, the 'chancy' part is over. I'm in. Once I've graduated, I'll have the best job security anyone could ask for, I'll be able to work in any area of medicine I want, I'll be doing something I love, and I'll be making great money... which feels huge to me right now. I won't have to total up the items in my grocery cart and then put a few of them back because I can't pay for them. I'll be able to buy some grown-up furniture, and maybe take us on a real vacation once in a while. Wow.
I actually got what I've been working toward. And it feels great.
Liz and I spent the weekend in Asheville, and had a fantastic time. (Last Wednesday was our third anniversary, and this Thursday is obviously Thanksgiving, so it's been a nice coincidence of events around here... lots to celebrate and be thankful for!) We spent the night at our friend Tiffany's house on Thursday night, after going to the midnight showing of New Moon, which was fun (when Taylor Lautner took his shirt off for the first time, the entire female audience gasped in unison, then burst into applause). I maintain that the writing of the Twilight books is really pretty crappy, especially in books two and three, but I do love the Cullen characters -- you just want to be a vampire by the time you're done reading. Anyway, so we went to sleep around 2:30, then got up the next day and had breakfast at the Sunny Point Cafe, which is a tiny, hole-in-the-wall cafe that serves amazing breakfasts. (I'd done my research online before we left so that we could, effectively, eat our way through Asheville.)
After that, we went to Chimney Rock State Park and did some hiking, both down to the waterfall and up to the Chimney itself. (Pictures to come on Facebook!) Later, we headed back to town and checked into our hotel (a Holiday Inn, which was actually very nice apart from the snooty staff), then headed out to what was quite possibly the best meal I've ever had -- shrimp over goat cheese grits at the Tupelo Honey Cafe. (We liked that restaurant so much that we went back the next night, which may have been the second-best meal I've ever eaten -- a Havarti-and-gorgonzola grilled cheese sandwich with tomato-basil bisque.) To top it off, after watching the outdoor drum circle for a few minutes (an Asheville classic), we headed to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge... which has to be tasted to be believed. We both had a 'sipping truffle', which is basically an incredibly rich form of hot chocolate... so thick that it drips off the spoon almost as if the cup were full of pure melted chocolate. Yum.
There was a holiday parade in town the next day, so we were stunned when we walked into the Early Girl Eatery for breakfast -- not only did we have no wait at all, but we were seated beside the window, with a perfect view of the parade. Breakfast was so-so -- nothing special -- but the view was nice. We spent most of the day walking around, visiting the various shops. We spent the most time in a place called Malaprop's, which was voted the best independent bookstore in the Southeast and also serves up some pretty mean coffee. After a second visit to Tupelo and to the Chocolate Lounge (this time I tried the "real" (non-sipping) truffles, which are absolutely incredible... I liked the French Lavender, which is made with wildflower honey, among other things), we headed back to the hotel for a shower and a movie on cable.
This morning, rain was rolling into town, so after a quick breakfast at an eco-friendly coffee shop called The Green Sage, we headed out (right at the edge of the rain, which we managed to leave behind before too long). Three hours and forty-five minutes later, we were home. Now, after a workout, some unpacking, my filling out my Duke papers (I still can't believe it!), and dinner, we're settling in to catch up on Grey's Anatomy, which we missed on Thursday. Just a quiet Sunday night... in preparation for this crazy three-day Thanksgiving week we're about to have.
*sigh*... Life is beautiful... isn't it? :)