One of the things I must do on my application for vet school is to write a personal statement. This statement must be no more than 5000 characters in length and should explain the journey that I've taken in my decision to become a veterinarian, and what experiences and circumstances make me unique.
You guys, I thought I would rock this. Seriously. I mean, I write a blog. I write about myself all. the. time.
Um, you may or may not have noticed, but my style of writing is....wordy. As in, I like to use a lot of words. You know, for emphasis. I like to go over and over a point to make sure everyone understands it with the depth of passion that I do. This particular trait does not marry well with a character limit of 5000 (with spaces!)
So I just wrote my story and then edited. Or, more specifically, zlionsfan helped me edit. Then I redid some of his edits and made my statement too long again. Then I re-edited MY edits, and, well... now I have a statement that I feel is choppy and sounds like a toilet being flushed.
Still, I've emailed it to a couple of people whose opinions I trust (never fear, cousin, I'm coming after you next) and as I anxiously await their feedback (they are not early morning people) I am mildly freaking out about my personal statement, my future and of course, my life in general.
I never said melodrama didn't have a place in my life.
So, a few days ago I was having a mini-pre-writing-my-personal-statement breakdown. I had this particular breakdown in the car with the boy. After venting all of my fears and frustrations, the boy sat silently. I turned to him and said, "Now is the point in the conversation where you say pretty words to make me feel better. Sort of like zlionsfan does."
He thought for a second and said, "You shouldn't freak out."
He said no more. No matter how much I harassed him (which was plenty) no more comfort was forthcoming. He is not zlionsfan, he said. And apparently I didn't really need comfort for my theatrics. He felt no need to coddle me.
(Don't worry - this is all related.)
Last night the boy stopped by after work to check in on my personal statement. I was in the midst of erasing my fifteenth draft, and I won't lie - I wasn't in a good place. I mean, it wasn't the depths of despair that organic chemistry brought to me, but it wasn't happy-go-lucky either. The boy sat silently, read what I had written, gave me feedback and then left.
But then this morning? We had the following text exchange. (And I swear to you, I haven't altered a single word.)
E: It is written and it is crap. I may as well poop on a piece of paper and submit that instead.
B: poop WOULD be an attention grabber
E: Hmmm. Maybe I dismissed that option too quickly...
B: there you go... I mean... nothin' says "Look at MY application" like a big pile of shit.
E: Soft smeary shit, or hard little turds? Ooooh, what about corn poopies? It shows that I eat my veggies...
B: it shouldn't be your shit... it should be some kind of exotic animal shit to show how much you care about animals... the more exotic the shit, the more you care.
E: Tasmanian Devil?
B: black mamba... invokes a little fear into the panel
E: Black Mamba like Kobe Bryant, or like the snake? Honestly, I can't decide which is scarier...
And just like that, I was laughing. Not brooding and sulking, but actually laughing. And now I can re-read what I've written for the gazillionth time with an editing eye, instead of despair and hopelessness. Because maybe sometimes? I want to be coddled, but what I need is to be reminded that life is not so serious. That perhaps I may be overreacting. And that while I'm allowed some of that, I need to snap out of it and get shit done. And sometimes you get what you need instead of what you want. (Wouldn't that be a great song?)