Secretly, I love thunderstorms.
They’re alarming, annoying if you get wet, and their lightning flashes brightly enough to turn night to day, but there’s this sense of power in nature that is so far beyond our control. Don’t be surprised to see me sitting at a window watching lightning flash or feeling thunder boom. There is just something about being reminded how small we are that puts life in perspective.
This is especially true after the storms that rolled through Indianapolis this past week. One night, there was so much lightning that my kitten slept on my chest because she was scared. My curtains weren’t thick enough to block out the light, and I had to dig out an eye-mask to be able to fall asleep. I think the dog upstairs was upset too. I could hear the pounding of his paws running up and down the hallway.
This past week I had orientation for graduate school. Orientation felt remarkably similar to a storm. We started suddenly and with gusto. I met all of my professors and was
impressed overwhelmed by their knowledge and their kindness. My classmates and I were led from topic to topic as we tried to learn the logistics of how the next three years will go like lightning flashing in a new location each time.
Graduate school is brand new to me. One of my professors told us flat out that we had never worked as hard as we were about to work. Each new bit of information was startling. The second day of orientation was spent striking fear into our hearts about how many ways there are to be dismissed from the program. The process is fair, and I could tell how much my professors want me to succeed in the program, but it was frightening. I’m scared of doing poorly.
But much like thunderstorms, even though it can be scary, I know I am going to love it. This school is the perfect fit for me. I could clearly see how much they had invested in me, and we hadn’t started classes yet. While the new dome protecting the track and practice fields from weather is white and not gold, I know my Golden Dome has prepared me for everything I will face.
As one of my new professors said, “You’ve spent all of your life competing to get a seat in this room. Now stop it.”
I have my seat in this class, and my classmates are right there with me. We’re here to learn how to be the best physical therapists we can be, and how to provide the best service to our patients. It’s not a competition anymore. One thundercloud doesn’t compete with its neighbor to be a more powerful cloud. They work together to scare the poor dog upstairs as profoundly as they can.
I can’t wait to begin.