To find yourself truly thankful…
Armed with my first “free” afternoon to reflect and a tummy that will never look at turkey or stuffing the same way again, I find myself truly thankful for resilience.
This past August marked my return to Darden Graduate School of Business as a SY student. On my third weekend back in Charlottesville, three friends and I drove the winding road to a local vineyard to revel in a weekly polo match. Twenty minutes into the drive, I had my first seizure. In the ambulance en route to the hospital, boom, another seizure.
After numerous MRIs, the neurologists explained that I had a cavernous angioma. That’s a group of abnormal blood vessels the size of a plum, growing inside the left frontal lobe of my brain. To make a long story short, I had two options: remain at risk for seizures for the rest of my life or undergo a craniotomy. I chose the craniotomy.
An unexpected pause
Thanks to a friend, a nearest and dearest friend, I was fortunate to find myself in the hands of a world-class neurosurgeon at Duke. A few short weeks later, I emerged from the hospital with a 14-inch scar across my head and a 6-week road to physical recovery.
After the seemingly never ending weeks of bed rest, I returned to the hospital for a follow-up MRI which showed a happy, clean brain. My neurosurgeon gave me those words that I had been itching to hear, “Go. Build back your strength. Be young. Return to your life.”
Grateful to bounce back
Returning to Darden (a mere 4 weeks ago) with the understanding that I was no longer on track to graduate with classmates, I decided to take a walk on the bright side. I had a new opportunity to bounce back with vigor and start recruiting from scratch. I started with the FYs in an industry never previously considered. Yes, recruiting is intense. Yes, the end seems so far out of reach. But now, armed with a strength I never knew possible and the knowledge that I am truly a survivor, I find that working towards this new goal fills my life with a fresh purpose and intensity with which to succeed.
As an extra bonus, I now find enjoyment in cover letters. Each letter is an opportunity to showcase my personal strength and talent, in hopes that a future employer will see beyond my words into a world and career path that I *will* conquer. Each of us is unique. Let your unique-flag fly and put yourself out there. Make those networking calls. Find pleasure in your day to day activities (as grinding as they may currently seem). Create your own future – a future of which you are truly desirous.
Resume drops are upon us. But even in the midst of the stresses, enjoy your holiday season. And reflect upon all that for which we are truly thankful.
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