Step 1: Notify sponsor of intent to withdraw fellowship app.
That's what I did today. And then hours later, I received the bittersweet response, regarding the missed opportunity for such an innovative project and a missed opportunity to bring me to their office. The sentiment was appreciated, but of course, it upset me like I knew it would, and I've spent a good part of the afternoon wallowing on the couch with the depressing music on my iPod. I nurtured this, I brought it to life. Then I abandoned it. I feel guilty, like I abandoned the attorneys and the clients. I need a moment to mourn the loss of this very specific dream, and to shake off some of this guilt.
Step 2: Notify funding agency of withdrawal.
Check. Hopefully their response will not inspire the same reaction.
But for the past few weeks, I've slowly been prepping. I've steeled myself to make this decision. Making a decision either way was going to result in a loss in some form, so neither option was easier to accept than the other.
Now I have to go accept the other position. As my mother pointed out, it's generally wiser to accept one before withdrawing from the other. But part of me hoped that they could offer me something at the last minute, some sort of guaranteed employment, that would allow me to continue to pursue the withdrawn project. Something, anything, to make this decision easier. It didn't happen. But hey, life is full of difficult decisions. And I've made mine. I'm paralyzed with terror that I could have made the wrong decision - again, I think either decision would have left me feeling that way. But the decision has been made, and now I have to go forward accepting that either decision could also be the right one. It's time to look at why I'm the luckiest SOB for having a choice at all between two dream jobs.
Well hell. I'm going to be a public defender! It's about time. I have to get that acceptance letter out ASAP...