And then we went back to Majuro and I came down with food poisoning or some type of virus that left me clutching my gut, swaying back and forth through the midnight hours, and weeping for death. Not even joking.
And so I began applying like crazy—and I'm still in the process, with one down and two to go.
And then I got a massively swollen lymph node from my earlier fever, and I bruised my toe badly when some guys were cutting down coconut fronds and I stumbled back into some sharp coral when a huge frond descended upon me. Weird, but true.
And then I realized that my lifelong desire to graduate in Physics was still a possibility, and that it's okay to have more than one professional love, and sometimes you can even combine them. So I decided to go for either a master's degree or a doctorate in Physics after the MFA in Writing. I would love to do science writing, experimental writing, physics research, and write books on the side. Happiness and bliss all around. I've already started going through my massive physics textbook to catch up. It feels wonderful to discard old cultural myths about sacrificing all dreams to be a wife and a mother. Heck, if you play your cards right, you can have more than one dream and still be a great wife and a mother. Happiness is a balance, and that balance is different for everyone—perhaps my balance just happens to look like this:
And then we discovered that our next post assignment is Montreal, Quebec, which is not only five hours away from my husband's parents in New York but also two hours away from one of the MFA programs I had already applied to and five hours away from another program in Vermont.
And then, today—while my son has a small fever and my husband suffers in bed from the same wretched food poisoning/virus that I had a few weeks ago (one theory is that since we're in a drought right now in the Marshalls, the water is not circulating well in the containment tanks, and people are either not washing their vegetables appropriately or the water is foul)—I found out that my first-attempt novel Unadorned: Manifestation of the Gods passed the first round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, one of the 2,000 accepted manuscripts out of the original 10,000 submitted. They even got my name right.