Monday, December 30, 2013

On Dreams, Pups, and Bread: Con Pane Bakery

I wrote this post 6 months ago with the intention of publishing it then, but life, school, and a new computer got in the way. Clearly, I'm not writing much currently. At times, there wasn't much to say, and most times, there was no time to say anything. My story has changed so much in the latter half of 2013. Here's how it started...

Five weeks and counting. The committee usually meets weekly on Wednesdays. Online forums were filling up with information about acceptances and they were coming in like clockwork. It was Thursday morning and I'd just arrived home from class. Bear woke up from his nap and I let him outside to do his thing.

Resist the urge to check. Resist the urge to check. Don't call the admissions office. Don't be that kid.

Our online application accounts had a telltale way of changing when a decision was made on your file. And no, it was not a literal message telling you a decision was made. I fought the urge to check. Last year, when I checked, my account had changed and I found out I was waitlisted. I wasn't sure I could handle that again.

Just as I pulled my laptop out of my backpack and turned it on, my phone beeped with a new email. Absentmindedly, I thumbed the screen to unlock it and opened the email. The ensuing shriek of joy brought old, almost-deaf Bear scrambling back into the house.

It is a great pleasure to inform you that you are accepted...


After a few phone calls and emails, the only thing left to do was to go out and celebrate with Bear. The only sad part about this great news was that I'd be taking my old pup to an unfamiliar place and he would likely spend his last days there. It turns out my little buddy was going to leave, but not to the Midwest.

That day, we romped at Point Loma's Con Pane bakery, followed by a walk along the water. It was a perfect day, filled with good food, calls/emails with friends and family, and of course, my favorite furball. Bear loved being outside and I loved being outside with him. One joyous day capped off an insane journey during which I fumbled my way along, forging my own path, and kicking ass along the way.

It started one fall weekend long ago, when I visited professors in a graduate chemistry program. The professors were intrigued by my professional experience, the graduate coordinator loved my overall application, and I was prepared to get the ball rolling for a potential life in a doctoral program. When I arrived home, the deep, unsettling feeling that I developed on campus wouldn't go away.

This isn't what you want. The whispers grew relentless. Stop trying to pursue something you aren't happy with. Chase what you really want.

What I wanted was to be a physician, but a blemished past (read: transcript) and years out of school were my greatest disadvantages. Despite my best attempts to silence the whispers, they grew louder. I looked up MCAT prep courses and very impulsively signed up for one. To this day, the MCAT class was a bit of a mistake, but only because taking the MCAT should have been last on my application to-do list. Instead, I took it first and did well, leading me on a journey to this incredible and uncertain end. After all of the post-baccalaureate classes, interviews, waitlists, hard work, and heartbreak, I got in.

I'm going to be a doctor. I don't even know what to do with that information. So far, it's been a lot of happy dancing, packing, and fretting about being able to handle life as a full-time student and newbie Midwesterner.

What happens when one of your biggest dreams comes true? That day, I loaded my elderly dog into the car and we went to a bakery. Life's greatest moments should come with food, preferably carbohydrates. Con Pane Bakery is one of my favorites in San Diego and located in the Liberty Station complex in Point Loma. During lunch, it's slammed with people in professional dress trying to grab a quick bite to eat. The cookies are decadent and the breads are amazing.

I settled into the patio and enjoyed a cafe au lait while Bear lounged in the shade. He might have been mildly piqued by the lack of attention he was receiving from passerby, but there was a Puli lounging a few tables away. Let's face it, as cute as Bear was, he wasn't going to compete with the corded coat of a Puli.

Lunch was an Almost Grilled Cheese with creamy brie and sharp Gorgonzola on rosemary olive oil bread. Dark chocolate chip cookie on the side. Cute pup. Good weather.

Life was great that day. And there's so much more to tell...

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Faye said...

Congratulations on the acceptance. Bear looks so beautiful in that pic. You must miss him dearly. Happy new years eve to you!

Marie said...

Thank you, Faye! The old boy is terribly missed. It has definitely not been the same without him. Happy New Year's Eve to you too!!

Kirk K said...

Congrats Marie. I will tell you, I've been in the Healthcare Industry for...sheesh, should I say this; 30 years this year. I could a couple of physician's as my's a long haul, I hope you enjoy it.

Marie said...

I'm sorry it took so long to reply to this, Kirk!

Thank you!! It already feels like a long haul, but I'm certainly enjoying myself. I hope you're enjoying lovely San Diego and all of those fabulous eats... they're somewhat lacking here. ;)

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