You May All Go to Hell, and I Will Go to Texas!*
I've had to make exactly four difficult decisions in my life. The first involved changing my major from pre-med biology to English, the second involved turning down my first professional job offer, and the third was about a boy. The fourth decision was about which graduate school to attend.
Remember when I told you I had to make perhaps the biggest decision of my life? (See When We're Helping, We're Happy.) Well, that was it: I had to decide where to go to graduate school.
First, I'll tell you why I'm going . . . I'm going to get a master's degree in information science. I want to study information architecture, usability, and human-computer interaction. I want to help nonprofit organizations, business owners and individuals create accessible and user-friendly Web sites. I suppose there are several ways of getting to that point, but I chose the graduate school way. Amazingly, I was accepted into all of the programs I applied to. I had hoped that I would only get into one school; that way, it'd be an easy decision because I wouldn't actually have to make a decision. I have found, though, that God wants me to make decisions. That's why we came to this world, after all.
So it was down to two schools: Indiana University and The University of Texas. I went over and over the pros and cons. I thought of little else day-in and day-out for about two months. The decision consumed and overwhelmed me. In the end, I decided on The University of Texas at Austin. I start in January.
Was it the right decision? I don't know. What I do know is that it's not the wrong one. I prayed. I fasted. I asked family members and close friends for advice. I even flipped a coin. But I never received an impression that one school was better for me than the other. I did, however, feel prompted to just make a decision. Just make a decision. I felt Heavenly Father's trust in my choice. He knows that wherever I go, I will try to live the principles of the gospel to the best of my ability. He knows I will obey His commandments and keep the covenants I made when I was baptized. Apart from that, I don't know if much else matters.
And so I made the decision to move to Austin. Sometimes I doubt myself. Sometimes I feel like I am stepping into the dark, and I have no idea whether moving to Texas will turn out to be the best thing for me, the okay thing for me, or the worst thing for me.
Most of the time, I feel sad. Atlanta is my home, and I love the friends I have made here. People are the most precious parts of life, and they are what make it worth living. And I have met the most incredible people here in Atlanta. I will miss watching my nieces and soon-to-be nephew grow up. I will miss late-night talks with my sister and brother and their spouses. I will miss trees everywhere. I will miss knowing my way around.
Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I don't like change. And I don't. More than that, though, I don't like being left behind. I don't like watching other people move or get married or get advanced degrees, while I stay in the same place, doing the same comfortable things. I want to progress.
And so, in January, I'll move to Austin. I'll try to be happy, and I'll pray that my life is going in a better direction than I feel it is at the moment.
At any rate, you all will have a new city to visit. :)
Come see me sometime. Better yet, move! Move to Austin, and keep me company. :)
*Davy Crockett reportedly said this to his constituents after he lost his election bid for the House of Representatives. The original title of the post was "Working My Way through the Alphabet, One City at a Time." I changed it because I didn't think it had quite the verve I was going for when I wrote it.
Thing I'm thankful for: cozy Christmas decorations.