In just two days time close to 70 MW students will converge on Yountville, CA all with the same goal of one day becoming a Master of Wine. This will be my fourth seminar and my last as a full program student. As this is my 3rd shot at the exam this year there are only three outcomes for me.
I sit the exam for the 3rd time and…
1) following the “third time is the charm” saying will pass both the theory and the practical. Thus, come September, I will be heard celebrating all up and down the west coast and then promptly get my nose back to the grindstone working on my dissertation that I’ve been looking forward to starting for the past 4 years. This means that this year’s seminar will be my last as a student.
2) I pass either the practical or the theory but not both. This will put me in a partial seminar focusing on the one that I didn’t pass next year. I’ll still be attending but not the full seminar.
3) I fail both parts AGAIN and because it’s the third time I don’t get to come back. This means that it will still be my last seminar.
It is an odd sense of freedom when you break it down like that. Logic would dictate that I would be nervous given the options. Instead I find myself with a feeling of excitement much like the same feeling I had my first and second years. Either way I have nothing to lose at this point and regardless of the outcome I am proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. Last year at this time I felt like I was in a bit of no man’s land, in the middle of a marathon without mile markers. It’s so different this year. Almost a serene feeling of peace about whatever the next few months will bring. Perhaps I’ve finally gone crazy?
Or… perhaps I KNOW I can do this and have finally reached that zen state that all the MWs talk about reaching. Only time will truly tell.
I know that the sense of comfort comes from the knowledge that I’ve gathered through out the years of study so far. Regardless of what happens I’ll always have that and it brings me joy to see how much I’ve learned and stored away from my studies. Maybe it comes with age, as I’m still fairly young but definitely not as young as I was when I first decided to embark on this journey 6 years ago. I have spent the past 6 years with the single minded determination to finish this program regardless of the odds. Regardless of all the well meaning friends that would smile and say “you’ll make it next time”. Regardless of all the maybe not so well meaning acquaintances that say “I’ll be thinking of you in September” with the slightly sympathetic and pitying smiles on their faces as if they want to be the first to hear you’ve actually failed what you set out to do.
I never knew my maternal Grandfather but my Mom used to quote him frequently when I was growing up. “If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” I live by that. I throw myself into whatever comes my way with passion and purpose until the time comes that the goal is achieved or it is time to let it go.
So this week, with the sense of anticipation that comes from truly enjoying the process of learning, I’m going to my last full MW seminar as a student because I’m going to pass this year. I’m going to greet my friends who have traveled this road with me like solders in the trenches and the MWs who have provided so much knowledge and time unselfishly. I’m going to take full advantage of the learning that is available this week and then when the time comes in June I’m going to show the examiners what I think about the chosen topics and let the chips fall where they will, walking away head held high, regardless of the outcome, knowing I’ve done my best and that’s all I could have done.