To Take the Dream Known or the Road Less Traveled?

The past couple days have been a constant state of list-making, what-if saying and sleep delaying. The choice of where to attend for my doctorate is complicated enough, then exacerbate that with the fact that it’s the first place my future husband and I will live as a married couple, and add the fact that we’re signing on for the next five years of our lives.

Maryland, the land of the unknown–both exciting and fear-inducing. We’d live in the nation’s Capital city and I would study in arguably the best rhetoric program in the nation. I’d be surrounded by like-minded students in an institution that prioritizes effectively teaching undergraduate students and would give me the freedom to experiment with service-learning pedagogy. It’s my academic vision. But it’s wrought with unknown factors and new neighborhoods. Friends yet to be made, but loneliness also pending. We wouldn’t be bored between the exploration, the newness; but we wouldn’t know anyone either. It’d be a fresh start, but a happy story we’d have to work for. It’s a new city for newlyweds that we would get to adventure in together, where we could grow together in our commitment to each other and our future as a unit. It is the road less traveled, which I worry over, but it could lead us to paradise.

Georgia is everything warm, fuzzy and lovely. My alma mater. My family. My team. My comm program. My mentor. But it’s also a program that isn’t offering as much money (wasn’t offering ANY money for a while) and whose academic focus isn’t on my heart. For as amazing as it would be to be back in the quaint, quirky college town, I’m worried of feeling stifled here, or not growing here. It feels like going back to undergrad and I’ve done this already. I want something new, but Georgia offers dreams of the craft brew, adventures, and faces that I know and love so well. To be an hour from my sweet sisters, my loving parents. To be near dear friends in the Atlanta area. To frolic in the city that had me grow up so much as a young adult is what dreams are made of. I just worry that it’s too soon to be going back… I worry Athens was my near past and I would be a fool to make it near future again.

So what do I do? How do I decide? How to consider my family, my future-husband and my dream all at once?

To the dream known or the road less traveled? I sit at a crossroads and I’m having the worst time taking the first step.

I have to make the decision this week. My mental health depends on it. But this is quite when I wish I could live two simultaneous lives so I wouldn’t have to miss out on the opportunity I forgo in order to live another.

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