Well, it’s done.
My application has been copied, three-hole punched, paper-clipped, sealed and given to the nice lady at the post office. It is now literally out of my hands.
As I walked to the post office, I was surprised that I didn’t feel more relieved to be done, especially since I’m sending it full three weeks ahead of the official deadline and a week ahead of my (adjusted) personal deadline. Part of my continued worrying was wondering if I should have answered questions differently, or expanded more on certain concepts, or emphasized a different aspect of my character. The bulk of it, though, was a fear that I’d missed some little instruction, like font size or double-spacing, that would cause them to disregard my application, that would nullify three months of effort. In other words, I’m a bit neurotic.
As I left the post office, however, all that neurosis vanished, and I finally felt the relief and elation that had been missing. I worked very hard and put together four solid essays. I had wonderful people to help me, who have me honest criticisms and suggestions for improvement. I have recommendations from excellent people who not only think highly of me (don’t ask me why), but also give perspectives on very different parts of my life. Last, I read the instructions carefully, check, double-checked, and then checked a few more times to make sure I’d followed them accurately. I even have a cute picture of me to go with the whole thing. (Their request. I don’t normally send pictures of myself to people I don’t know.) What’s to worry about? Either they like me and request an interview, or they don’t. Either way, I did my best, and now it’s time to relax and wait.
So here’s one last shout-out to the people who helped me throughout the whole application process. Much heartfelt gratitude goes out to my paternal unit, Big Brother, and Uncle Avi for their help with my essays and résumé. Sometimes I think you did more work than I did. I just put words on paper, but you helped them make sense. And gratitude equally heartfelt goes out to those who provided emotional support over the past three months, particularly Allie, Becky, Gila, and Amanda. I’d have torn out a lot more of my hair if you hadn’t let me bounce ideas off you and listened to me rant or vent when I got frustrated. And if Amanda hadn’t practically shoved me out the door, I would still be delaying my trip to the post office. Saying “thank you” doesn’t seem like enough, but I guess it will have to do for now.
Becky pointed out that I’m no longer going to Israel next year. I’m going this year. Funny the difference one word can make.