M is for Marie and Michele.

How do you choose your next step? Like, in life?

I tend to spend tons and tons and tons of time mulling things over, pro-ing and con-ing, and all of that. But ultimately, I go with my gut. So far, it has not led me astray. (Metaphorically speaking, of course… in the literal sense, I have been led very far astray.)

My senior year of high school, I was certain that I was going to go to NYU– no matter the debt! I was going to live in the big city, I was going to major in political science, and I was going to be cosmopolitan and amazing. But then I visited Houghton, where I had applied to major in chemistry at Michigan Tech, and despite the fact that I was in the middle of nowhere in the UP and I had a raging fever, I knew I was in the right place. I filled out the paperwork, accepted my scholarship, and became a Husky. I met Aimee and Adriane my first day there and knew that even though it wasn’t my original choice, it was the right choice.

My senior year of college, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, so I decided to go to grad school. (That’s the default, right?) I interviewed at four different schools and was pretty much settled on Penn, the first of the four… until I went to DC to interview at USU and met Jess. Penn may have wined me, dined me, and put me up in a fancy schmancy hotel, but USU sent Jess to the airport in her Nissan Altima and made her put me up in her apartment. She let me stay an extra night since getting back to the UP was nearly impossible and we went out to Rock Bottom in Bethesda in a snow storm and chatted and laughed… and again, I just knew that USU was the place for me. I’d make the same choice all over again.

Things got all stressful and choice-y again at the end of grad school. I didn’t want to go into academia, but I needed a job and a post-doc seemed like the right choice (head-wise, anyway). I tried and tried and tried to get one… then this science writing thing at the Marshfield Clinic came about. We talked about that before.

It was my first post-graduate interview and the only one in person. But after I had it, I knew it was the place for me. The thing that did me in in Marshfield, that had me hooked right from the get go, wasn’t a thing at all– it was two people: Marie and Michele.

I had applied to be a scientific research writer in the Office of Scientific Writing and Publication. My interview was on Valentine’s Day of 2011 and I interviewed with lots of different people. Marie and Michele asked legitimate questions, good questions, but not hostile questions. Plus Marie was crazy stylish and Michele was super nice and by the time I had had lunch with them and was headed back to my in-laws’ house in Mosinee I was certain that I had to work with these women. Once again, I just knew… and it was Marie and Michele that did it.

You know how this story ends– Marshfield Clinic offered me the job, I accepted, Seth and I moved to Wisconsin, and here we are. Most importantly: Marie and Michele are my co-workers. More than that; they are my friends.

I could not ask for better!

Marie used to be a surgical tech (ew, right?) in urology (double ew!) and now she’s an editorial specialist (i.e. really, really good at grammar and super detail-oriented, thank goodness she is!). She’s the most faith-filled person I know and also the best at wearing scarves. She is my style hero. I feel like every time she tells me a story about her life I’m just more and more in awe. (Good news– you can hear some of her stories, too!! She’s a bloggess right here!) I’m seriously so lucky to get to work with her every day!

Michele is a writer like me and she’s a genius at everything that has to do with dogs– everything! Also, she’s just a genius. She’s leaving us to go get her doctorate at Vanderbilt University in Nashville soon (also a dreamy country-music singing boyfriend) and I couldn’t be any more excited for her! She was hand picked for this opportunity and it is well-deserved, let me tell you.

Both Marie and Michele make it worth coming in to work every single day. Just like Jess made it worth going in to the lab during those long years in grad school and how Aimee and Adriane made Michigan Tech home. Marie and Michele, Jess, and Aimee and Adriane are all totally different– I really can’t put my finger on the common denominator, except to say that I loved them all instantly. I was overly familiar just as quickly as I was with Melissa and I felt comfortable around them right away… as early as the interview, the ride from the airport, the hall-bonding exercises… they let me be me and my life is better because they’ve been part of it.

Michele may be leaving, but Marie and I will stick together and we’ll be cheering for her from Marshfield. We’ll be sitting in the front row at her defense… and right behind the paparazzi at her wedding!

M is for Marie and Michele. It’s for those people who just get you… who make you know that you’re in the right place, doing the right thing. The ones who make it worth it.

Marie (R) and Michele (L) are so freaking cool that I was able to talk them into doing the wave for my sister while she was in labor!
Marie (R) and Michele (L) are so freaking cool that I was able to talk them into doing the wave for my sister while she was in labor! I just love them!!

4 thoughts on “M is for Marie and Michele.

  1. You have some awesome people in your life! Isn’t it funny how life just kinda takes you on a path that works out perfectly? Also so important to have people in your life who make it better- that’s rare and special!

  2. You forgot about your plan to put off grad school for a stretch when while you went off to LA to be a stand up comedienne. You are still a very funny gal!

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