“And when the future hinges on the next words that are said, Don't let logic interfere, believe your heart instead” - Philip Robison

So here's the latest of the recent stressors in my life:

My plans for next year have been thwarted.

And the weirdest part is, they weren't even real plans.  They were tentative plans.  Let me explain.  I've been feeling pressure to make some serious decisions about my career and future life.  I have really been struggling with this decision, trying to choose between becoming a technical writer or the decidedly more difficult task of becoming a history professor.  Recently, I had essentially decided on pursuing a masters in history at Clemson University and determining whether or not to go on and get a Ph.D after finishing an MA.  Although I don't think that I would be a terrible technical writer, I've always loved history and traveling, and I feel like being a history professor would allow me to continue to learn about and see things that I would not have to opportunity to learn about or see otherwise.

However, becoming a history professor is a long and hard process, much longer and harder than pursuing an MA in communications and becoming a technical writer.  Although the idea of being a professor sounds great, it is scary to think about going to school for so long and working so hard.  Also, as a history professor, finding a job would be hard and I would have to face possibly living very far away from my family.

It has been pretty difficult for me to commit to my decision to pursue this career path for these specific reasons.  Anyway, I spoke with my advisor, whom I trust deeply, about my plans to go to Clemson for two years to get an MA in history.  Imagine my surprise when he urged me to reconsider!

Before you get the wrong idea, let me just say that he did not question my decision to pursue history and getting a Ph.D.  He merely suggested that I consider other programs which would allow me to get an MA and a Ph.D simultaneously in a shorter amount of time.  Although this is a good idea and would cut down tremendously the years I would spend trying to get a doctorate, the majority of the schools with an Irish historian and a Ph.D program are not close by.

And their application deadlines have already passed.

This throws a pretty serious kink in my plans of going to grad school in the fall.  So now, I'm faced with either going to Clemson after all and taking longer to get my doctorate, or take a year off and wait to apply for the next year.

The good news is, I've discovered a program at Queen's University in Belfast that offers a MA or a diploma in Irish Studies in a year.  This means that I could live in Ireland and study Irish history and anthropology while waiting to get into a Ph.D program.  As exciting as it might be to live in Ireland, it is also a scary prospect to live so far away from my family and friends for so long.  Mostly, I feel like it's a really good opportunity and maybe I need to be stretched as a person and taken out of my comfort zone.

Anyway, these are some pretty significant decisions I'm being faced with.  I'm praying that God will bring me clarity and either open or close some doors to help me make some of these decisions with more comfort...


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