Working for the alumni association here on campus, I have the unique opportunity to interview a USU alum on a monthly basis for the alumni spotlight article featured in every issue of the e-newsletter Aggie Insights. I have been doing this job since April of 2008. During the past year and half, I have interviewed a lot of different, unique individuals, all with inspiring, impressive stories and accomplishments.
For this month's issue, I interviewed Dr. Marion Bishop. This was by far the most enjoyable interview I have ever conducted. Marion is truly a remarkable woman. It was a pleasure corresponding with her via e-mail and the phone. Not only is her resume far beyond impressive, she has a genuine warmth and spirit. I feel like we truly connected, even though we were not corresponding in person---in my opinion, that's difficult to do. I didn't want to stop talking to her. We talked for almost half an hour.
She is a Cache Valley native and received her bachelor's degree from USU in English (my major!). After she graduated she went to NYU where she obtained a master's and PhD in English and Literature. As if that wasn't enough, after teaching college level English across the country, in her early 30's, Marion decided to pursue the dream of becoming a doctor. She switched career paths completely, returned to USU to complete 2 years worth of pre-requisites, completed 4 years of medical school at the University of Utah, and in 2007, finished a 3 year Emergency Medicine Residency. That's 9 more years of school! How amazing is that?!?! I was extremely impressed that she believed in herself enough to take a risk and follow a dream.
What impresses me most about Marion is her ability to determine what choices will make her happy in her life. She told me that she never planned to obtain so many degrees or go to medical school etc, but that you have to learn as you go. Planning is good, but you have to be flexible and be ready for the plans to change. I have experienced this lesson several times in my life thus far, and I am sure will continue to experience it. Marion helped me see the amazing possibilities life can bring, and that you don't have to follow the perfect formula to be happy.
I am at a very interesting time in my life. I find myself on the brink of college graduation with absolutely no idea what direction my life is going to go. Granted, I have some ideas, but I am also seeing some options for the very first time. My entire life I imagined that by the time I reached this stage in my life I'd be married. All the build up for life was going to college, and I assumed marriage would happen right along with it. After that who knew, but 2 big things would be taken care of. I never imagined that I would graduate and be alone. I expected to live the little picture perfect life so many of the girl I went to BYU with are currently experiencing.
I find myself at the age of 22 with no significant other or romantic relationship of any kind. I am truly, perfectly fine with where I am at in my life. I am not worried that I won't ever get married. I know I will. I have no idea when, but I know I will. What I am faced with right now, is imagining an entirely different life than I ever dreamed of. It's exciting and scary. There are so many possibilities and decisions to make; some decisions I thought I would be making with someone else as invested in my life as me. I guess right now, for me, that person is Heavenly Father.
I am faced with the decision of either attending graduate school or going out into the workforce. The economy is so poor right now, it seems best to stay in school. My boss at the Alumni Association has offered to have the Alumni Association pay for my grad school, but I just found out today that recent budget cuts may render that impossible. I honestly don't know what will happen or where I will be in the months to come, but the funny thing is, I'm not worried. I know that if I just keep moving forward I will know what's right.
I am grateful for women like Marion Bishop who are living proof of the amazing things that can happen when you are willing to learn as you go and go after your passions. She lives with no regrets. I hope to be able to say the same.
Click here to read the Alumni Spotlight article I wrote on Marion Bishop.